It’s not just the NFL who is flabbergasted with Tim Tebow’s popularity; it’s the NBA, too.

Specifically, former Magic coach Stan Van Gundy is astounded by the amount of exposure Tebow continues to get.

Van Gundy got a taste of Tebowmania when he was coaching the Magic and Tebow was quarterbacking the Gators, but can't believe it's reached such a defcom level. Seriously, how many backup quarterbacks have been named the most influential athlete in America by Forbes magazine, have had a prominent Orlando attorney do radio commercials on his behalf and have had fans petition President Barack Obama to get  Tebow a job with the Jacksonville Jaguars?


“I’ve never seen anything like it – period,” Van Gundy said on our Open Mike radio show the other day.  “The popularity Tebow had as a college player, we’ve certainly seen before. But for that (popularity) to follow him into the NFL and to have so many people nationwide invested in  what a guy does in the pros – I’ve never seen it before.”

Van Gundy says he feels for Tebow because his immense popularity is probably going to preclude the quarterback from playing in the NFL.

“He really hasn’t changed," Van Gundy said of Tebow. "He’s stood for the same things and tried to be a good teammate wherever he’s gone, but there’s just so much that follows him that turns every situation into a major distraction. I think what people in the NFL are saying now is ... ‘Why would you bring him in? If he’s not starting you’re going to have a circus on your hands. It’s just not worth it’

“Unfortunately for Tim Tebow, he’s probably good enough to be in the NFL at least as a backup, but the phenomenon created by his great college career and who he is as a person is going to make it impossible.”

To listen to our entire Stan Van Gundy interview, click here.

 

Email me at mbianchi@tribune.com. Follow me on Twitter @BianchiWrites. And listen to my Open Mike radio show every Monday-Friday from 6-9 a.m. on 740 The Game.