Jeff and the Van Gundys
I love hearing Jeff Van Gundy comment on NBA games. He's not only very funny but may be the most articulate and knowing ex-coach calling the games.
However, when he was a coach, he was even more fun. In fact, when both Van Gundys coached in the NBA, it made for a double doozie dose of fun.
Here's an article I wrote back in 2005 when Jeff and Stan each headed teams.
The Van Gundys: Quite an Act
One looks like a famous porn star, the other looks like he could get thrown far.
The brothers Van Gundy are both coaching in the NBA—Stan with the Miami Heat and Jeff with the Houston Rockets. Jeff was just fined by NBA Commissioner David Stern $100,000, the steepest fine ever levied on a coach.
We’re sure sibling rivalry is in play here, but we’re not sure if Stan will top it. Perhaps Howard Stern will fine Stan $125,000 just for looking like Ron Jeremy. Then Jeff will counter that he himself, looks like David Paymer, who has been in bigger movies than Ron Jeremy. Then Stan replies, “Do we have to get into definitions, here?”
We want to see them shake hands and put this petty bickering behind them. You got to root for them. They’re small college grads done well in coaching. Their dad was a coach for 41 years. They both played for tiny schools you never heard of, Nazareth and SUNY-Brockport. Around the league they’re the disheveled brothers, both so absorbed in their work they attend little to their wardrobe.
Even famous clothes horse Pat Riley couldn’t shevel Stan. If a Van Gundy wishes not to be sheveled, all the clothes horses and all the… the… clothes horse riders can’t put… y’know. Well, let’s put it this way. You can bring a Van Gundy to Barney’s but you can’t make him dress.
That’s too bad, really. Because when the Van Gundy’s get together with their dad, Bill, they make quite a nice singing trio. The only reason you haven’t heard of the VeeGees, is their wardrobe, unlike their sound, isn’t big time.
Their songs are all basketball related with a disco beat. Stopping your Drive! Stopping your drive. Oh, oh, oh, oh. Stopping your drive. That was monster in the late seventies in the Van Gundy garage. Their songs were harmonic tenor voices mixed with falsettos and dripping with their love for basketball. In fact, one of their titles is How Deep is Your Love… for Basketball?
Surely, you remember it. How deep is your love? Cause we're living in a world of high scores. And then we all remember their nineties tribute to Mav player Shawn Bradley: More than a Mormon… to me. It never really took off. And neither did I Started to Choke … which started the whole world crying. I think what killed that song, which was beautifully sung, was Jeff’s mannerisms and the fact he tried to get Latrell Sprewell to sing back up.
Before we get to Loogie, Loogie on my Shoes, we’ve got to relay the Latrell Sprewell quote after watching little Jeff Van Gundy—all 5’9", 160 pounds—try to break up a fight between the Knicks’ Larry Johnson and the Miami Heat’s Alonzo Mourning by grabbing onto Alonzo’s leg. “Van Gundy was hanging onto Alonzo’s leg like a human weather vane.”
There’s another reason you’ve got to love them. They’re feisty, not afraid to mix it up with guys 100 pounds heavier with tree trunks for arms and they love coaching defense. Besides what other coach can do the moonwalk, hit a high “C” while screaming out Loogie, Loogie on my Shoes.
That was not a big hit either. Fortunately, both these guys have nice day jobs.
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