Jeff Van Gundy and Gregg Popovich share a moment

In 1999, they were enemies in the NBA Finals. Two semi-young coaches seeking their first ring.

In January 2014, they are on different sides of the proverbial aisle.

One is the curmudgeon champion with three rings to his name (at precious seconds away from a fourth) who has no time for nonsense when basketball is being played and seemingly a shorter fuse when it comes to in-game interviews (particularly the ones the NBA requires him to do reluctantly).

The other is the curmudgeon broadcaster, taking his sarcastic wit and humor to the airwaves and letting the world know how the NBA should work according to his experienced, and sometimes looney, logic.

Put them together after a third quarter filled with the Spurs' dominance over the rival Mavericks and you get TV magic:


ESPN sometimes does not use a sideline reporter for their broadcasts and sends the color analyst down to the other end of the court to do these coaches' interviews. Jeff Van Gundy was clearly caught out of his element having to go toe-to-toe with Gregg Popovich.

Luckily they are members of the coaching fraternity and Popovich took it easy on Van Gundy.

Do not expect clemency a second time.

About Philip Rossman-Reich

Philip Rossman-Reich is the managing editor for Crossover Chronicles and Orlando Magic Daily. You can follow him on twitter @OMagicDaily