Jeff Van Gundy, Advocate for Stan Van Gundy's Honesty

Ethan Sherwood StraussNBA Lead WriterApril 9, 2012

PHILADELPHIA - APRIL 24:  Head coach Stan Van Gundy of the Orlando Magic directs his team during Game Three of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2009 NBA Playoffs against the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wachovia Center on April 24, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

When it comes to this Stan Van Gundy vs. Dwight Howard standoff, Jeff Van Gundy certainly "has a horse in this race," though I've never thought of brotherly love in such equestrian terms. Also, the image of Stan Van Gundy four-limbing the Preakness is a bit unseemly. Something tells me he's a mudder.

Anyway, Jeff Van Gundy addressed his brother's fraught situation in yesterday afternoon's Bulls-Knicks thriller, while admitting his own bias and tweaking journalists over their coverage.

Not surprisingly, Van Gundy's admission of bias got attention, while his criticism of journalists did not. Jeff's incisive point, paraphrased: It is a bit ridiculous for journalists to criticize Stan Van Gundy for telling the truth about how Dwight wants him gone.

This point has pull with me, and I feel a bit guilty for questioning SVG's "professionalism" on the issue. We so often assess coaches and players per how they should succeed that we can forget principles more important than success. It is easy to lapse from favoring truth to acting as PR consultant from afar. Instead of praising Stan Van Gundy for his honesty, we can trend towards tut-tutting him over revealing facts that his employer would rather keep buried.

But what is "tired of the BS" Stan Van Gundy supposed to do when asked a question that he knows the answer to? This is not quite like revealing game strategy; these are the actions of others, and these actions impact him.

Regardless of what SVG should do in his business life, journalists should encourage and commend the honest approach because it makes our lives easier. That's the selfish perspective.

The more idealistic one is this: Honesty is a virtue. Stan Van Gundy isn't a spy. He's a coach and a human being who seeks to live by a laudable code.