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Jeff Van Gundy On His Brother Stan: “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother – Okay, He’s A Little Bit Heavy, But Still”

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So much for black being slimming, huh? Aww, I’m just kidding – fat jokes are pretty low – especially from me, who falls much closer to the Stan Van Gundy side of the spectrum than his brother Jeff’s weight. The story here isn’t about Brother Jeff or Brother Stan’s weight.

Instead, the story is about how Jeff Van Gundy performed in the awkward role of covering his brother’s team during the NBA Finals. Brother Jeff seemingly did a decent enough job remaining impartial during his coverage of his brother’s Orlando Magic squad’s loss to the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals. Actually, impartiality was never the problem – it was the fact that he completely disappeared during parts of the Finals, especially during Game 5 when the Magic were getting throttled by the Lakers en route to Los Angeles’ NBA championship.

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“I think this was harder for him than he thought it would be,” said Mike Breen, whose command as the play-by-play voice of the finals continues to grow. “This was uncharted waters. I didn’t know how he would do it.”

You sensed Jeff’s reticence in his silence at tough moments for the Magic during Game 5.

“Will they fold their tent or fight?” asked Mark Jackson, Van Gundy’s partner in analysis. (Jeff said nothing.)

“Anxious moments at Amway Arena,” Breen said, as the camera cut to a shot of Stan. (Jeff said nothing.)

Having a brother myself, I can understand how Jeff felt – dejected and disappointed for his brother – but he had a job to do – and in a way, he failed. Nevertheless, ABC understood the inherent risk involved having Jeff as one of the analysts covering the Finals.

All in all, it’s my opinion that he didn’t do half-bad of a job. I suppose I might feel differently if I was one of the guys working with him while he sat there silently, looking into space and thinking about the time Stan came to his aid and stood up to the bully in the neighborhood for him.

Aw man, I’m getting a little misty over here. Give me a moment, will ya?

ABC’s Van Gundy Remained Mum About His Brother [The New York Times]