Stan Van Gundy questioned how sincere the Knicks’ displays of appreciation have been for his brother Jeff Van Gundy and Patrick Ewing.
Over the last couple of years, Jeff Van Gundy has been shown on the jumbotron when he’s been in the Garden working for ABC. He went many years without the Knicks ever acknowledging one of their most successful coaches when he was in the building after he abruptly resigned in 2001.
When Stan, the Pistons coach was, asked about the thaw in the relationship with his brother, he brought up Ewing, his former assistant coach in Orlando who was always shown on the screen and never got a job interview with the Knicks.
“I think Jeff was always embraced by the fans here,” Stan Van Gundy said. “I think they appreciated what he did, appreciated the way his team played. It would be great if it was a true appreciation from the organization. But you never know on things like that.
“I used to walk in here and Patrick would be sitting next to me on bench and they would put him up on the jumbotron and everyone would clap and then he could never get an interview for any freakin’ job they had. That’s sort of fake appreciation in my opinion. I don’t know what it is in Jeff’s case. If it’s genuine appreciation then that’s great. If it’s just a way for them to appease their fans, a little bit different.”
Jeff Van Gundy would be a popular choice with the fans to coach the Knicks if Jeff Hornacek isn’t back. But Mark Jackson and Doc Rivers have been rumored to be candidates. Stan isn’t sure what his brother will do, but he’s impressed with how good he is as a broadcaster.
“It’s incredible to me that in two very visible type of jobs that anybody could rise and be at or near the top of two different positions,” Stan said. “I think that’s an incredible achievement in and of itself. He was the best coaches in this league and now 10 years later he’s one of the best broadcasters in the business. That’s not easy to do.”
Enes Kanter (sore lower back and right wrist), Frank Ntilikina (illness) and Courtney Lee (sore left foot) did not play. Kyle O’Quinn returned after missing the past three games with a strained left hip and started at center. Troy Williams started his first game as a Knick.