Watchdog

Neil Best leaves no stone unturned in the world of sports media.

Jeff Van Gundy blasts NBA

It's a darn good thing I was the star student in my ninth grade typing class at East Northport Junior High back in 1974-75. It enabled me to (more or less) keep up this afternoon as Jeff Van Gundy torched NBA decision-makers during an ESPN conference call to preview the NBA season.

Oh, my!

Van Gundy's primary complaint was that the league rushed to begin the lockout-delayed season on Christmas Day, which forced it to start training camps and free agency at the same time and create a chaotic atmosphere.

"I think it's a pretty dark day for the NBA so far," he said. "I think there have been a lot of poor decisions that have led to a lot of chaotic situations so far for the NBA."

Van Gundy added, "I think this rush to play on Christmas was a huge mistake. I think when you skip steps, which this season is going to be all about skipping steps, and go for the money grab, I think when you do that you make mistakes and I think that’s what’s happened."

Van Gundy said among other concerns that the compressed 66-game schedule will risk the health of the players.

"It's absurd," he said. "I'm thinking to myself they should have just played all 82 games and just played day-night doubleheaders."

The league's decision to cancel a trade that would have sent Chris Paul from the Hornets to the Lakers also upset Van Gundy, who said the Hornets front office knew better what was in the interests of that team than did the NBA.

"I wonder who these basketball people are to come up with these basketball reasons [to kill the deal]," he said. "I thought they hit a home run with that trade. I don’t think they could have done any better . . . It's really a slap in the face to that team, that city that fan base and really all the teams involved and all the players involved.

"I couldn’t believe it when I saw it. It really smacks of basketball arrogance."

Tags: ESPN , NBA

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