Stan Van Gundy had a handshake agreement to join ESPN's NBA Countdown, but sources tell The Big Lead that David Stern allegedly prevented the hire.
“We had discussions with Stan Van Gundy and were interested in a role for him at ESPN," said a spokesman from the network. "Ultimately, we differed on potential assignments and we moved in another direction.”
Van Gundy talked about the issue on Wednesday with Dan LeBatard on Miami radio.
“No one at ESPN will tell us what happened," said Van Gundy. "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.
"We actually did agree on a role, but then they came back and pulled that. That’s when we knew something was up.
"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.
"What I find fascinating … you have to give David Stern and the NBA a lot of credit … ESPN pays the league, and then the league tells them what to do. It’s more ESPN’s problem. You gotta have no balls whatsoever to pay someone hundreds of millions of dollars and let them run your business.
"Just say what happened. Who cares? Who cares if I’m on there or not. Just come out and say this is what we decided and why … [ESPN's quote] that’s just a flat out lie. Why would you do that? I don’t understand. We agreed on something, you changed your mind and pulled the offer. Don’t say we couldn’t come to an agreement. We did.”
Van Gundy and Stern have long been at odds, most notably for criticism of the way officials were treating Dwight Howard.
“I would render a guess … that we won’t be hearing from him for the rest of the season,” said Stern in response on the Colin Cowherd show.