Jeff Van Gundy can be a broadcasting legend, if he wants

ABC/ESPN’s Jeff Van Gundy might just be the best TV game analyst in sports. He really could become a John Madden of the NBA, as someone who is more synonymous for what they do on TV than what they did on the sidelines. When he calls the Finals next week, it will be his 12th time as an analyst, the most ever in that role.

Madden never turned back after entering the booth, but Van Gundy still has the itch to coach. While Van Gundy, according to sources, has turned down coaching jobs over the years, he has struck out a few times on others he wanted. Sources said he feels he can be selective because he likes his TV job.

Van Gundy declined comment.

In the NBA offseason, Van Gundy is currently coaching the United States men’s basketball team in the FIBA AmeriCup that continues late this summer.

Next week, Van Gundy, 56, will show once again why he is the engine of NBA Finals’ booth, making it all work. Play-by-player Mike Breen is always solid, but he is about as a below-the-radar big-time sportscaster as they come. Mark Jackson is clearly better playing off the freewheeling Van Gundy.

What separates Van Gundy is his willingness to say what he wants, when he wants. He is particularly entertaining when he goes off topic. The other day, Breen was promoting the new “Solo” movie and Van Gundy said he has never seen “Star Wars.”

Van Gundy’s passion for the game comes across and, though, he dissects the game like an old coach he has the ability to explain it like a fan, breaking down concepts so they are easy to understand.

He could be like Madden — who, unlike Van Gundy, did win a championship before going to the booth — and be a legendary TV analyst, who never returned to the sideline. The question is: Is that what Van Gundy wants?

Long-time NFL insider Peter King is publishing his final articles for Sports Illustrated after nearly three decades at the magazine. King is moving his Monday Morning Quarterback column to, where he was already a part of their “Football Night in America” coverage on NFL Sundays.

King, 61, made the decision in large part to take better care of himself. He had one brother die at 55, while another brother and his father both passed away at 64. One brother had a heart issue, while the other suffered from complications from a kidney. King’s father was a heavy smoker and had lung cancer.

In recent years, King had been not only writing and doing TV, but he was leading the operations of’s vertical, TheMMQB. The incessant demands of the Internet got to him.

“The way it was before we got very web heavy and daily conscious was the draft was over and you maybe worked on one or two stories before training camp, but you didn’t wake up every day and say, ‘You have to feed the monster,’” King said. “Now, you do. I’m just not crazy about May, June and July, trying to figure out how we are going to fill up our website for 10 weeks.”

For, he will continue to write his epic Monday column and work on TV features, but will slow the rest of his days down

“I’m going to have the same impact on Monday, I hope,” King said. “I won’t be doing as much on the other days of the week.’

Clicker Consulting: This is where we offer free advice to sportscasting community, which we are sure the recipients all appreciate. For WFAN’s “Boomer and Gio” to be at its best, it needs Gregg Giannotti to lead the show more and not Boomer Esiason. Whatever you want to say about Craig Carton, he knew how to drive a show, which allowed Esiason to work off of him as a big name with real affection for multiple sports. Esiason sort of assumed the lead spot when Carton was exiled after his arrest and update guy Jerry Recco filled in.

However, now FAN should have Giannotti run the show, because he is the more talented radio personality, knowing where to take the program. The ratings with Giannotti replacing Carton have not been great so far, which could be for a variety of reasons and not necessarily the show’s quality. But for the program to grow,Giannotti needs to be the starting quarterback.

Quick Clicks: While the $1.5 billion deal by ESPN for UFC has been largely presented as the network’s new president, Jimmy Pitaro’s first major rights move, sources said that Disney chairman of direct-to-consumer, Kevin Mayer, was just as responsible for the acquisition, if not more. … The direct-to-consumer video service, DAZN, made some news by hiring the man Pitaro replaced at ESPN, John Skipper, and by making an eight-year, $1 billion deal with Matchroom boxing. DAZN, which has made inroads in other countries, will launch in the United States late this summer. They want to be like the Netflix of sports in the United States, which means they hope to be players for major properties over the next decade. To start, a source said they will be priced higher than ESPN+’s $4.99 per month. DAZN will likely be at somewhere between $10-20 per month. At the least, with very deep-pocketed owners, DAZN will help to keep major league sports owners richer by driving up rights’ costs.

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