Jeff Van Gundy is not backing down

Jeff Van Gundy talked to SLAM's Adam Figman:

SLAM: You ruffled a couple feathers earlier this offseason when you said the Heat could topple the 72-win mark. Now that all the offseason movement’s done, do you stand behind that? Think it’ll happen?

JVG: Well, I think this: I don’t think it’ll be talent nor coaching that stops them. I think what you can’t predict is how important records like that are to their team and their players. So I can’t predict that. But if that’s something that they’re intent on -- being a dominating team -- I absolutely stand by that. And I’m surprised others think any differently.

SLAM: You coached during an extremely competitive era in basketball in the 90s when the Knicks were battling the Heat. When you saw that move -- three top players joining up on the same team -- how’d you feel about it?

JVG: Frankly, I didn’t care. I didn’t care, but I understand why people do, and why some took offense. I don’t think very many took offense to the decisions that were made; it was probably more so a backlash to how they decided to announce the decisions, and then the aftermath to that, more so than the decisions. But frankly, as an announcer, I’d rather see Wade go head-to-head against James, because I like to see greatness go against greatness, but it doesn’t matter to me.

SLAM: Everybody’s talking about the Heat and the Lakers. Is there a sleeper team that’s gonna come mess everything up?

JVG: Well, I think there are three teams that can win a championship: the Heat, the Celtics and the Lakers. And I think the Celtics have made some really good moves -- Jermaine O’Neal, Shaquille O’Neal, and Delonte West to me is a wildcard depending on his mindset, because he’s a very good player.

As a little side note: Here's some evidence that the Heat might be smart not to be intent on having a great regular-season record.

The same post also includes Van Gundy making it clear that he'd coach again if the right opportunity arose and that he thinks the U.S. national team has far more talent than any other country's team.

Also, worth noting: Amare Stoudemire talks, in the same post, like a guy who intends to shoot 3s this season.