Stan Van Gundy reveals that wife died by suicide: 'I'll never get over it'

Stan Van Gundy has been dealing with a family tragedy since August, when his wife, Kim, died.

Kim was 61 and the two had been married for 35 years. Kim's cause of death was publicly shared as "unexpected," but Van Gundy, who spent four seasons in 2014-18 as Detroit Pistons head coach and president of basketball operations, opened up with further detail this week by revealing Kim's cause of death was suicide.

Van Gundy was a guest on the "South Beach Sessions" podcast published Friday, hosted by longtime sports media personality Dan Le Batard.

Stan Van Gundy reveals that wife died by suicide: 'I'll never get over it'

“She took her own life, Dan," Van Gundy said, pausing to find the right words. "I’ll never ... I don’t care how long it goes, I can’t imagine that I’ll ever get over that … it was devastating. We’d been married for 35 years, and had been together for close to 40 years — since I was 24 years old. ... 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 gonna live any day in my life without Kim. Never envisioned that. 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 gonna see her again. I'm trying hard to stay connected. I don't want to — 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. But I have other people that I care about, and as you said, I've had a lot of people support me, and I've got to try to go on, but I know I'll never get away from it."

Van Gundy, 64, has found success on TNT's NBA broadcast team the past few years, and is currently on the call for the Western Conference finals beside play-by-play man Kevin Harlan and fellow analyst Reggie Miller. He said he's doing as much therapy as he can, and says he has confidence he'll get better with time, but the regret sticks with him.

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

Le Batard lost his younger brother, David, an artist in Miami, to cancer in August at 50 years old, giving the two friends a mutual understanding of the grief each is going through.

The conversation continued with Van Gundy expounding on the therapy he is going through and the struggle of acknowledging Kim's mental struggles while also still feeling extreme guilt.

"My responsibility was to take care of her and to give her a great life, and I failed in that," he said, acknowledging that is his feeling, and not actually the truth, as his therapist reminds him that Kim had a mental disease.

"What's keeping me going is mainly my (four) kids," Van Gundy said later.

Le Batard, based in Miami, and Van Gundy are longtime friends after Van Gundy's decade coaching with the Miami Heat from 1995-2005, first as an assistant and then as head coach.

Van Gundy, in a 90-minute wide-ranging conversation with Le Batard, further discussed the loss of Kim. At the start of the show, he opened up about regrets from his coaching days, his relationship with and battles with his younger brother, Jeff, the critical toxicity that often runs rampant in sports today and more.

If you or someone you know needs help, the national suicide and crisis lifeline in the U.S. is available by calling or texting 988. There is also an online chat at 988lifeline.org.

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