Jeff Van Gundy Speaks Up for NBA Fans Scammed When Star Players Sit Out

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When a NBA fan shells out an astronomical amount of money to go see his favorite team play, and many of the star players rest that night, it’s pure consumer fraud. On the NBA Finals (our full series preview and prediction here) media conference call, ABC/ESPN NBA Analyst Jeff Van Gundy. took a stand for ripped-off fans everywhere.

Yes, indeed one of the so-called “media elites” fighting for the alleged “little guy.”

jeff van gundy

Here’s a snippet of the Q&A between Jeff Van Gundy and the Reporter (transcript via ESPN Media Zone)

Q: “There was a lot of criticism during the season of a lot of teams. The Cavs were some of the more prominent for resting guys. They didn’t send any of their big three to Memphis on their only visit there. They stayed at home. They sat them against the Clippers when they were staying in L.A., not traveling anywhere, playing the Lakers who were struggling the next night.

They kind of bagged the race for the No. 1 seed in the East when — in the idea of rest of LeBron and Kyrie and Love the last week of the season. Yet it seems like it’s worked. What does this say about the regular season and how distressed should people who pay a lot of money and TV partners be about this?”

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In the first part of Van Gundy’s answer, he elaborated on how there really is no proof to the idea that resting works, and that not resting fails. He named some examples where resting guys didn’t work out, while also point out the fact that Lebron James has succeeded whether or not he’s been rested.

Jeff Van Gundy then got on his populist soapbox, and railed against the NBA’s version of pushing a lemon off the showroom floor and into the hands of a buyer who just got “taken.”

jeff van gundy

As far as the regular season, even if I would say that it worked resting, which I’m not convinced it had anything to do with their success either way, I still think it’s wrong. We market our star players. We ask our fans to watch games, to buy tickets to games, to pay astronomical sums of money to come and watch, and then we bait and switch them without any notice, and we expect it to be okay. I’ve read that many, including the Commissioner, have said it’s not a big problem. I’ve always been of the thought, when you get ripped off or when somebody gets ripped off, if it’s not you, it’s not a big problem. But if it’s you, it’s a big problem.

So I think how the fans are treated since they drive this whole business, and they generate these vast sums of money that our players earn, that we should be more judicious in how we treat them. Because right now, I think we’re treating them very poorly when it comes to taking nights off that have nothing to do with injury.

Well done Jeff Van Gundy, well done!

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, partnered with FOX Sports Engage Network. Banks, a former writer for the Washington TimesNBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes to WGN CLTV and KOZN

Follow him on TwitterInstagramSound Cloud, LinkedIn and YouTube.

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