Jeff Van Gundy Feb 19, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; ESPN broadcaster Jeff Van Gundy during the NBA game between the Houston Rockets and the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It was expected that a lot of talented people would be laid off on Friday at ESPN. It was not expected that NBA analyst Jeff Van Gundy would be one of them.

Van Gundy had called 17 NBA Finals with ESPN after joining the network in 2007, working the 15 NBA Finals alongside Mike Breen and Mark Jackson.

It’s the true end of an era for the network and basketball viewers who have grown accustomed to the former head coach’s ability to mix game analysis with humor and humility (and a strong disdain for bad officiating).

Van Gundy is also very well respected in NBA circles as a former coach and straight-shooter. There were a lot of strong reactions to the news that ESPN was cutting him loose.

“Head scratcher,” Fox Sports 1 sports show host Colin Cowherd tweeted. “Love JVG.”

“The best NBA game analyst by a mile,” The Ringer’s Ryen Russillo tweeted.

“Not a fan of this change,” Keith Smith, a Spotrac contributor, said. “VG is a curmudgeon on the broadcasts, but a loveable one. And he’s one of the best analysts of what’s happening in real time that does game broadcasts. This is a bummer.”

“WTAF,” added NBA columnist Howard Beck.

With so many other networks and streaming services looking to get into the NBA broadcasting business with the next media rights deal, it stands to reason they’re all putting Van Gundy on their speed dial right now.

[Awful Announcing]

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to