Like Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey, ESPN analyst and former Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy believes regular season games are important.
We’ve seen a rather unique conundrum in the NBA of late, as it pertains to the league’s employees’ lack of marketing the NBA’s product. We’ve heard countless times that the regular season games don’t matter, which caught the eye of Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey, who has been rather vocal in voicing his frustration.
Morey has valid complaints as it pertains to the league’s announcers and analysts being negative about watching the regular season games. It’s unlike anything we see in the NFL and the MLB and it’s been quite surprising to hear so many commentators bash the league. Of all people, you’d think the analysts would be the ones to endorse the product and glorify the sport even more.
But it turns out that Morey isn’t the only one feeling these frustrations, as former Houston Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy echoed the same sentiments. JVG was recently on ESPN’s First Take and had the below to say about the importance of regular season games.
Van Gundy shares the same views as Rockets GM Daryl Morey.
“I’m so tired of fans, media, organizations telling me that the regular season doesn’t matter. It sure does matter.
It matters because fans are paying the prices, it matters because our guys get to do a job that is an incredible benefit to themselves and to sports fans everywhere.”
Van Gundy has a firsthand account of this issue since he works in the media, which gives him even more credibility. He’s also right in that the regular season games matter, if for no other reason than the fact that many of the league’s fans pay their hard-earned money just to attend the games with their friends and loved ones.
Morey referred to this issue as the “Ricky Bobby-ization of sports” in reference to his feud with Sirius XM radio host Justin Termine, and had the below to say about the same issue Van Gundy was speaking on.
“It’s stupid that you get told on the telecasts how these games don’t matter, by the announcers and radio hosts, because the only thing that matters is the playoffs.
It’s safe to say that Van Gundy and Morey are both in agreement as it pertains to this issue and they’re both right. The regular season games not only matter to the fans, who crave the league’s product, but they also play a part in the playoff matchups and seedings, which the Rockets know about all too well.
To clarify, the Rockets lost the final game of the 2018-19 season to the Russell Westbrook-led Oklahoma City Thunder, which had a significant impact in the Rockets’ postseason fate. This caused them to drop to the fourth seed in the Western Conference, meaning they were forced to face the superteam Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Semifinals, as opposed to the Western Conference Finals, which is when they faced them in the 2017-18 season.
The good thing is that the Rockets have eight more games to improve their positioning this season, which could be beneficial as they currently sit in sixth place in the Western Conference standings.