Jeff Van Gundy is joining the Boston Celtics as a senior consultant for the 2023-24 season, the team confirmed Saturday.
After he was one of more than 20 on-air personalities to be let go by ESPN this summer, the 61-year-old is staying close to the game he loves.
The basketball expert's new role will fall under the basketball operations department, according to MassLive, which first reported the news. In the position, he will reportedly spend time in Boston and travel to Maine to work with the Celtics' G-League affiliate of the same name.
Before his career on TV, Van Gundy was a longtime coach in the NBA from 1996-2007. He was head coach of the New York Knicks and Houston Rockets during that time, notching a 430-318 record during his 11 seasons. He even helped the Knicks reach the NBA Finals in 1999.
After parting ways with Houston, he spent 16 years at ESPN and appeared on air during 16 NBA Finals. He provided analysis alongside Mark Jackson while Mike Breen handled play-by-play duties.
Van Gundy gained a reputation as one of the best in the business and was let go by his longtime company to cut costs. ESPN never disclosed his salary, but he was reported to have "made millions."
He is set to join a revamped staff led by last season's runner-up for NBA Coach of the Year, Joe Mazzulla. The head coach spoke with reporters about Van Gundy's addition to the team ahead of practice Saturday:
"Anytime you can add high-character, professional people, I think it’s a no-brainer," Mazzulla said. "Fortunate enough that he’s here, not just for the coaching staff, but everybody."
The new senior consultant won't be a stranger to Celtics stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Van Gundy served as an assistant coach for Team USA during the 2019 FIBA World Cup and worked directly with the Boston duo throughout the international tournament. He was also the head coach for the 2017 FIBA AmeriCup Tournament and assistant coach at the 2020 Summer Olympics.
While Van Gundy's presence on air can't be easily replaced, his impact on one of the Eastern Conference's top teams will likely be tangible as the season unfolds.