I had an opportunity to talk with ESPN basketball analyst Jeff Van Gundy for a Q&A in The Oklahoman on Friday. Here are a few more questions for Van Gundy, one of my favorite NBA analysts.
Have you enjoyed your broadcasting career?
I do enjoy it. You don’t have the highs or lows of coaching. It’s more in a right-in-the-middle lifestyle. There are certains aspects of coaching that I miss. But I learned awhile ago, not to worry about what’s next. I just worry about what I’m doing now. And I’m having a good time with it and I really like the guys I’m working with. If your doiong a secondary type of career, it’s absolutely essential that you enjoy working with those people because you’re not that comfortable doing something totally different and so you really have to like and enjoy the people around you.
Were you disappointed you didn’t win the Sports Emmy for game analyst?
Frankly, I didn’t even know they did that for sports. Something asked if I was disappointed to lose. I said, Heck, I was surprised to even be nominated. I just try to say what I see. When I came into it, people said, Are you worried about it impacting your next coaching job. My thing was I’m not about what is next. If somebody would not hire me because of an opinion I had on the TV, then it probably wouldn’t work out anyway. I’m the beneficiary of the guys around me because Mike and Mark do such a good job of withstanding my bouts of crazyiness.
Who is your pick to reach the NBA Finals?
Cleveland in the East. I think L.A. deserves my pick, but if you told me that San Antonio was able to advance then and play them, and they eventually beat in L.A. in a tough series, I wouldn’t be shocked. I think a lot of it depends on the health of Bryant, beause if he is healthy, I think their size plus Bryant makes them a very difficult team to beat in the Western Concerence. And I think Cleveland has upgraded their challenge from last year. Yes, I think it’s going to be Cleveland’s year, but there are some very good playoff matchups.