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I have always loved Jeff Van Gundy as a coach. As a fan of the Los Angeles Lakers, I was hoping the team would consider hiring him this past offseason when Phil Jackson retired.
But as an analyst, it’s a completely different story. It often seems as though he is looking to make a quick one-liner or funny observation rather than breaking down the basketball game.
Based on his analyst work alone, it’s hard to imagine him being a coach, especially when you compare him to other former coaches-turned-analysts (Hubie Brown, Mike Fratello), who seem more knowledgeable about the game overall.
In his defense, he has gotten better since Mark Jackson left the booth to become head coach of the Golden State Warriors. When Van Gundy, Jackson and Mike Breen (who is fantastic I might add) were all together, there were simply too many cooks in the kitchen.
Jackson and Van Gundy would often talk over the game, exchanging barbs or reminiscing about their days together with the New York Knicks.