So much for objectivity. When the Los Angeles Lakers & Orlando Magic meet for Game 1 of the NBA Finals Thursday night, ABC/ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy isn’t bashful about who he hopes brings home the Larry O’Brien Trophy: his brother Stan.
Jeff admits that he’ll be rooting for Stan’s Magic men to make quick work of Kobe & crew. But he believes that cheering on his bro won’t corrupt his game-calling. As he told Neil Best of NEWSDAY (via AWFUL ANNOUNCING):
“I’m going to try to be as objective as possible,” he said, “but I want my brother’s team to win; there’s no question about that.”
Should ABC brass be worried about Jeff playing playoff favorites? Well, he did give the network the option of taking him off the broadcast:
When Stan Van Gundy’s Magic took a 2-1 series lead over the Cavaliers, his younger brother discussed the looming potential conflict with his coordinating producer, Tim Corrigan.
“I said, ‘Hey, listen, if you guys don’t think it’s best for me to call the Finals, I’m fine with that, and I understand,’’’ he said. “I don’t want to compromise anything. They said they wanted me to do it.’’
Having Jeff vocally pull for Stan & the Magic during the games would actually be quite entertaining - and provide plenty of fabulous fodder for sports sites like this. It would be a nice counterpoint to the inevitable courtside shots of attention-starved celebrities at Staples Center.
Speaking of stars at Staples, Ron Jeremy really needs to make it out to a game, just for all the fun comparisons ABC can make between the porn star and Stan.
What would be even funnier is the Disney-owned network trying to explain to its lesser-informed audience what Mr. Jeremy does for a living - without the risk of FCC fines.