Does Jeff Van Gundy Have a Point Calling For NBA Suspension Reform?

By Shane Phillips

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

You either love him or hate him, but the strong-minded Jeff Van Gundy is going to tell it how it is. How is it? Well, mainly, Van Gundy strutting his over-confident all-knowing self all over the ESPN family of networks and Mike Breen nodding with nothing better to say.

All joking aside, I believe Van Gundy and Breen to be one of, if not the best, commentating duo in the NBA. The only commentating crew better is the trio of the aforementioned duo with the addition of Marc Jackson.

Anyway, my favorite duo earned the majestic right to call the Miami Heat and Brooklyn Nets game. The game was a bit of a disappointment, as Miami took a 47 minute nap and waited until the last minute to launch any fireworks.

With a bit of a dull game, Van Gundy decided to take a moment to address the league’s suspension and discipline policy after Breen brought up Nets coach Jason Kidd‘s suspension for a DUI. 

Van Gundy said that the Association should either stay out of players’ personal lives and worry about what happens on the court, or lay the smack down. “Enough of these slaps on the wrist,” he explained. He then went on to demand 10, 15, 20 game suspensions and full season bans.

I completely agree with Van Gundy.

DUIs, drug violations, domestic abuse and any other illegal activities are a 2-5 game suspension. The NFL hands down four to eight game suspensions for drug violations and other illicit acts; that’s either a quarter or half the season!

The NBA season is 82 games, so a two game suspension is nothing! David Stern has one of the most relaxed discipline policies in the world of professional sports. No one is going to learn from a slap on the wrist or a $5,000 fine, that’s pocket change to them.

Van Gundy put it perfectly, crack down or let law enforcement deal with it. He was also right when he said incoming commissioner Adam Silver should address this immediately. If the average American commits a crime, he or she usually loses their job, they don’t get a fine and suspension.

Shane Phillips is a Miami Heat Writer for Follow him on Twitter @Smphil01, “Like” him on Facebook or add Shane to your network on Google.

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