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Stan Van Gundy: Brooklyn Nets are “bush league”

Stan Van is currently unemployed, so maybe that's why he's so mad at the Nets

According to an ESPNNewYork.com report from a few days ago, former Orlando Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy thinks the Brooklyn Nets have "looked like a bush league organization [for] much of the year."

In an appearance on NBC Sports Radio this Monday, Van Gundy — who was fired in May 2012 by the Magic — bashed Jason Kidd's underwhelming team for its poor play so far in the 2013-14 season, which has resulted in a dismal 11-21 record, even after the team's momentous win on the road against the Oklahoma City Thunder last night.

Even though the Nets may have turned a corner in their season with their major triumph in yesterday's win, they are still 10 games under .500 and out of playoff contention, at least at the moment. Somehow, the fact that Brooklyn has not been living up to its lofty preseason expectations is enraging to Stan Van Gundy, who happened to be floated around as a possible head coaching candidate for Billy King's squad this offseason.

From ESPNNewYork's Mike Mazzeo: "..It's been easy to jump on him [Jason Kidd] not just because of the record, but the things coming out of their locker room, the situation with Lawrence Frank, the incident of spilling the drink on the floor," Van Gundy told the "Amani and Etyian Show" on NBC Sports Radio [on Monday].

"I mean this has looked like a bush league organization much of the year, they don't play with much effort at all, a very uninspired team. But at the same time they had so many people hurt you just don't know…"

While some of what Stan Van said happens to be true, a lot of it seems to be a anger-filled rant that doesn't accurately account for the varied reasons the Nets have underperformed in the 2013-14 campaign.

He just touches on the incredible injury struggles the team has faced so far, when injuries may be the biggest contributing factor to Brooklyn's subpar record.

Also, at least according to most people's definitions of something that is "bush league", the Nets do not fit the description at all. Sure, Jason Kidd's CupGate incident may have bent the NBA's rulebook, it was merely an act of desperate gamesmanship by a rookie head coach, nothing more.

What else have the Nets done — other than playing poorly against many inferior opponents and possessing inconsistent effort from time to time — makes them a bush league franchise? Not much, if anything at all.

Van Gundy's uncalled-for outburst appears to be a bit of an embodiment of the frustration he stills harbors for the team that made the end of his Orlando tenure a nightmare, at least with regards to New Jersey/Brooklyn's drawn-out pursuit of former Magic center Dwight Howard. The season-long "DwightMare" from two years ago may have taken a bigger toll on Van Gundy himself more than any other person involved, and might have cost him his job.

Whether it is him being upset at not getting the highly coveted Brooklyn head-coaching position this offseason or his firing from the Magic — possibly influenced by the Nets' unsuccessful attempts to trade for Dwight Howard — Van Gundy is obviously harboring some negative feelings for the entire Nets franchise.

Really, what else could cause a random and pissed-off tirade like that one other than some repressed feelings?

About Josh Burton

I'm a New York native who has been a Nets season ticket holder, in both New Jersey and now Brooklyn, for his entire life. Northwestern University (Medill School of Journalism) '18

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