Boston Celtics

Celtics considering adding Jeff Van Gundy to coaching staff: Report

The former head coach was a valuable consultant to Brad Stevens this season.

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The Boston Celtics will lose at least one and possibly two experienced assistant coaches this summer. But they're apparently mulling an interesting contingency plan.

The Celtics are exploring the idea of adding senior consultant Jeff Van Gundy to head coach Joe Mazzulla's coaching staff next season, Marc Stein of The Stein Line reported Sunday.

Van Gundy spent 10-plus seasons as an NBA head coach with the New York Knicks (1995 to 2001) and Houston Rockets (2003 to 2007) before transitioning to a broadcast career with ESPN. In October 2023, he joined the Celtics as a senior consultant of basketball operations and has been a fixture at practices, home games and road trips while also spending time with the Maine Celtics of the G-League.

"Jeff's been great," Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens said at the end of Boston's regular season in mid-April. " ... I will say this, I’ve known Jeff a long time and gotten a chance to spend a lot of time with him over the years. It is fun watching a game with him when he doesn’t have to speak in 15- second sound bites. He’s pretty entertaining.”

The Celtics already are losing top assistant Charles Lee, who recently accepted the Charlotte Hornets' head coach job, while veteran assistant Sam Cassell reportedly has interviewed for multiple NBA head coach openings. By bringing Van Gundy to the bench, Mazzulla would have a valuable resource with more than three decades of NBA experience.

"It's really cool because he has a non-biased perspective toward our organization," Mazzulla said of Van Gundy after he was hired in October. "And as the season goes on, it becomes hard at times to take a 30,000-foot view, because you're working with these guys every day and you're in it, and you're staff is in it.

"So to have a guy who can take a step back and see the organization from the outside -- he's scouting us, so we're going to know ourselves better than others because he's looking at us every single day and studying us. He has a non-biased perspective. It's like, 'Here's what you're doing well, here's what you're not, and here's what I see.'

"To me, that's a huge weapon to have."

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