Ex-Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy joins Celtics as senior consultant

Knicks Celtics
Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown (7) shoots as New York Knicks forward Julius Randle (30), forward Cam Reddish, and Boston Celtics forward Noah Vonleh (4) watch during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022, at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Jessie Alcheh)

Jeff Van Gundy is finally making his way back to an NBA organization as the former Knicks head coach and long-time ESPN analyst has joined the Boston Celtics as a senior consultant in their basketball operations group.

“Any time you get to add like high-character, high-level, professional people, I think it’s a no-brainer,” Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla told reporters. “So fortunate enough that he’s here, not just for the coaching staff, but for everybody.”

Van Gundy is best known for taking the Knicks to the 1999 NBA Finals during his seven seasons as head coach. He also coached the Houston Rockets from 2003-2007 before spending the last 16 years working on television for ESPN’s NBA telecasts.

He has quite advanced technical ability and vision, having coached the United States national team in FIBA competitions, including a gold medal showing with the 2017 AmeriCup squad.

The Celtics are seen as one of the favorites to win the Eastern Conference this year in a perceived two-horse race that features the Milwaukee Bucks after acquiring Damian Lillard to pair with Giannis Antetokounmpo. 

While Boston boasts a duo of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, they reloaded by picking up Jrue Holiday from the Portland Trail Blazers — who was initially sent from Milwaukee in the Lillard deal — and trading for Kristaps Porzingis from the Washington Wizards.

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