Stan Van Gundy remembers late wife, reveals cause of death

ByABC News
May 25, 2024, 2:29 PM

Stan Van Gundy's wife of 35 years died Aug. 16, at which time her cause of death was said to be "unexpected."

On Friday, with months to reflect on Kim Van Gundy's passing, the former NBA coach and current television analyst revealed more about the circumstances of her death.

Van Gundy told longtime friend and sports talk host Dan Le Batard, on the latter's "South Beach Sessions" podcast, that Kim, 61, died by suicide.

"She took her own life, Dan," Van Gundy said. "I can't imagine that I'll ever get over that. ... It was devastating."

Van Gundy discussed at length the woman he began a relationship with when he was 24 and the life they had built in more than three decades of marriage.

"My entire adult life, I trace everything -- job changes, kids, everything -- I was with her, and she was by my side. I never, ever envisioned that I was going to live any day in my life without Kim," said Van Gundy, who added his wife had been diagnosed with a mental illness.

"I knew she was going through a tough time, but I still never envisioned that happening. Even now, it's been eight months, and I struggle to come to grips with the fact that I'm never going to see her again. I'm trying hard to stay connected. ... My house is full of pictures of Kim. There's a montage of pictures above my bed that my kids did for me of Kim. I'm trying hard to remember her voice, to remember her smile, all of those things. But more than anything, live her values, because her values were better than mine.

"She taught me a lot. And I want to live her values and a life that she would be proud of. And my kids at times over the last eight months, at times, not often, but I think genuinely from their point, I'll do something and they'll say, 'Mom would have really been proud of you for that one.' And that above anything else really makes me feel good, because my wife was an incredible person, and the loss is huge."

Kim Van Gundy met her future husband in 1984, soon after he was hired as the head basketball coach at Castleton State College in her native Vermont. She was a student at the time.

She followed him from one basketball city to another, initially in college towns, until he landed his first NBA job as an assistant coach with the Miami Heat in 1995. He was promoted to head coach in 2003 and served two-plus seasons before landing as head coach in Orlando, Detroit and New Orleans.

Van Gundy, 64, currently works for TNT and is part of the broadcast team for the Western Conference finals.

He said on the podcast that he is in therapy but that life is different without Kim. Their four kids are helping to hold him together, but it's hard.

"I just don't think I'll ever get over it," Van Gundy said.