The Boston Celtics are adding a well-known basketball figure to their front office. According to Brian Robb of the MassLive, the Celtics have hired ex-Houston Rockets head coach and former ESPN color commentator Jeff Van Gundy as a senior consultant for the 2023-24 season.
Robb reports that Van Gundy will be part of the team’s basketball operations and will split his time between the Celtics and their G League affiliate Maine Celtics.
The Celtics haven’t made the hiring official yet, but head coach Joe Mazzulla already confirmed it in a chat with reporters on Saturday.
“Anytime you can add high-character, professional people, I think it’s a no-brainer. Fortunate enough that he’s here, not just for the coaching staff, but everybody,” said Mazzulla of Van Gundy.
Jeff Van Gundy entered the NBA in 1989 as an assistant with the New York Knicks. He spent seven years on the position before being elevated to the head coaching position following the departure of Don Nelson in 1996. Van Gundy spent five full seasons with the Knicks, making the playoffs in each one of them and leading the team to an NBA Finals trip in 1998.
Van Gundy resigned as the Knicks’ head coach 19 games into the 2001-02 season and was away from basketball for a year and a half before being hired by the Houston Rockets. He spent four seasons in Houston, making three playoff appearances but failing to advance past the first round.
After he left the Rockets, Van Gundy started his broadcasting career with ESPN. He went from being a guest analyst to color commentator before being fired this past summer as part of the network’s job cuts.