In Game 2 of the NBA Finals against the Milwaukee Bucks, ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy made a joke about Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker that garnered some backlash on social media.
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When Booker missed a jump shot with 3:32 left in the third quarter, he immediately took another shot and put the ball back in the basket to give the Suns a 10-point lead over the Bucks once more.
The unusual comment from the former NBA coach was brought on by the skilful play.
“He has a cutting edge. He plays like… a hoodlum, but he looks like a choir kid,” Van Gundy added.
His father, a former NBA player, is African-American, while Booker’s mother is Mexican-American and Puerto Rican.
His co-host Mark Jackson laughed in response to the remark.
Many other Twitter users and current ESPN NFL commentator Ryan Clark both noticed the remark. The comment was “definitely code,” the former NFL defensive back claimed.
Jeff Van Gundy has received criticism in the past for making dubious comments. The latest occurred during the Western Conference Finals match up between the Phoenix Suns and the Los Angeles Clippers.
With more than 4 minutes left in the fourth quarter, Suns forward Jae Crowder slapped Clippers star Paul George in the face. George appeared to be in discomfort after taking a blow to the face and fell.
Play was halted while the officials decided whether or not to call Crowder for a flagrant foul. The veteran ESPN analyst Van Gundy vehemently disputed that it was a severe foul and continued in his tirade.
“I’m tired of how sissified the game has become. Not a flagrant foul, that. He rebutted. He got his ass in. Van Gundy commanded, “Shoot your two free throws.