Former Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy ripped the league’s disciplinary system during Friday night’s Heat-Nets game, in a rant that seemed aimed particularly at Brooklyn coach Jason Kidd.
Van Gundy, who was providing color commentary for ESPN’s broadcast, called out the NBA for handing out one- and two-game suspensions for serious off-court offenses like DUIs and domestic abuse charges while handing out longer suspensions for lesser things.
Kidd received a two-game suspension after an offseason DUI arrest, and he also was arrested in 2001 when his former wife said he hit her during an argument.
"The deterrent system is not working," Van Gundy said, comparing drinking and driving to firing a gun in a room full of people.
He called for the NBA to drop the hammer on anyone charged with crimes involving alcohol or violence against women, suspending them for even an entire season.
Play-by-play man Mike Breen reminded Van Gundy that the guidelines for such punishments have to be negotiated in the collective bargaining agreement.
"Forget all that," Van Gundy replied.
The Nets bounced back from a season-opening loss in Cleveland by winning in their second and final game without first-year coach Kidd, who finished his suspension and is expected to make his debut Sunday at Orlando.