According to MassLive, the Boston Celtics have appointed former NBA head coach and veteran ESPN announcer Van Gundy as a senior consultant.
As a color commentator for the World Wide Leader and ABC for 16 years, Van Gundy was just let go by ESPN in July as part of a cost-cutting measure.
Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated said that Van Gundy, 61, has “been actively exploring a return to coaching.”
Mannix claims that at the time, Van Gundy had “mutual interest” with the Wizards as well as discussions about a coaching position with the Mavericks, Celtics, and Mavericks.
Van Gundy gives head coach Joe Mazzulla’s staff some much-needed coaching expertise.
From 1996 through 2001, Van Gundy served as the Knicks’ head coach, guiding them to the NBA Finals in 1999.
Before his time with ESPN, he previously served as the Rockets’ head coach from 2003 to 2007.
Joe Mazzulla on Celtics adding Jeff Van Gundy as consultant. “Awesome. 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.”
— Chris Forsberg (@ChrisForsberg_) October 14, 2023
After losing to the No. 8 seed Heat in the Eastern Conference finals under rookie head coach Joe Mazzulla, the Celtics have made a point to hire assistant coaches with experience in the NBA.
Before bringing in Van Gundy, the organization also hired Sam Cassell and Charles Lee, two of the best assistants in the game and likely future head coaches.
Ime Udoka, 34, was replaced as the club’s head coach only weeks before the start of the previous campaign after being banned for the whole campaign for breaking team rules, including a rumored improper contact with a female staff member.
After a slew of off-season changes, the Celtics are one of the favorites to win the NBA Finals in 2024.
Marcus Smart, a fan favorite, was traded away by the organization in order to make room for Kristaps Porzingis, a previous All-Star.
Another former All-Star, Jrue Holiday, was acquired by the Celtics earlier this month in exchange for Malcolm Brogdon and Robert Williams III.