Jeff Van Gundy has joined the Boston Celtics’ coaching staff as a senior consultant, according to the team’s website. He’ll work with the organization throughout the 2023-24 season and will spend time in both Boston and Maine.
The Celtics’ decision to bring in Van Gundy comes after a summer of revamping Joe Mazzulla’s team of assistant coaches. Sam Cassell, Charles Lee, Phil Pressey, and Amile Jefferson are a few notable new faces on Boston’s bench.
At Saturday’s practice, Mazzulla discussed what the longtime head coach will be able to bring in his new role with the Cs.
“Any time you get to add like high character, high level, professional people, I think it’s a no brainer and so fortunate enough that he’s here, not just for the coaching staff, but for everybody,” Mazzulla told reporters (h/t CLNS Media).
He went on to add that Van Gundy’s perspective as an outsider is something that he hopes can help him and his staff.
“It’s good to get a guy who hasn’t been here before that can kind of have an unbiased opinion as to where he thinks things are and where they need to go. And so, he’s kind of like a fresh set of eyes … he’s looking at it from an unbiased position.”
Van Gundy had spent the past 16 years working for ESPN as part of their NBA broadcast crew. The 61-year-old was a part of the Worldwide Leader’s “A-team” alongside Mike Breen and Mark Jackson. His time with the company came to an end this summer as part of a long list of layoffs, including the likes of Jackson and Jalen Rose.
Though he was often electric on the mic, the Cs brought in Van Gundy due to his experience as an NBA head coach, a role he served eleven seasons in for both the New York Knicks and Houston Rockets. Plus, he has a sense for how difficult it can be to be calling the shots at such a young age.
He and Mazzulla each got their first head coaching jobs in the league when they were 34 years old.