Stan Van Gundy Hired by ESPN as NBA Studio Analyst

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistSeptember 28, 2018

Detroit Pistons head coach Stan Van Gundy in the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, March 15, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

Stan Van Gundy may not be coaching for the 2018-19 season, but he will reportedly be staying close to the game.

The New York Post's Andrew Marchand reported on Friday that Van Gundy will be joining ESPN as an analyst. This news comes after the 59-year-old was relieved of his duties as Detroit Pistons coach and team president in May. Van Gundy confirmed the move to Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press.

The deal may come as a surprise after Van Gundy called out the company for publishing an article in which LaVar Ball questioned Los Angeles Lakers coach Luke Walton, via WXYZ-TV Detroit: 

As noted by Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press, the then-Pistons coach opted not to give ESPN "extra access" following the Ball article.

That wasn't the only time Van Gundy took issue with ESPN, however. He was in talks to join the network in 2012, only for talks to fall through for an unknown reason. He would later vent his frustration on a Dan Le Batard radio show (h/t The Big Lead's Jason McIntyre):

"No one at ESPN will tell us what happened. Certainly the NBA office isn’t going to tell us what happened. One of the quotes from ESPN in there—we had discussions, but couldn’t agree on a role...as is usual, that’s a bunch of BS from ESPN.

[...]

"Nobody is going to give a straight answer because...that’s just the way a lot of people operate...nobody there has the guts to say anything, so that’s what you deal with."

Last month, Van Gundy told the Real Talk Basketball with Rex Walters podcast (h/t ESPN.com) that he hoped to continue coaching, noting that he felt "really lost" without it:

"If I could get a job [for next season], I had planned to coach. Now, I really don't know. I'm really lost right now. I don't have an idea. My wife wants me to retire.

"I want to do something, but if I'm not coaching, I don't want to work too hard. If I'm going to be grinding, then I want to coach. If I'm not going to be coaching, I want to be semi-retired, at least. I really don't know."

Stan becomes the second Van Gundy to join ESPN's coverage team. His younger brother Jeff, also a former coach, is a color commentator for NBA games.

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