Jeff Van Gundy Joins Clippers As Lead Assistant

4:58pm: Van Gundy has officially joined Lue’s staff, according to an announcement from the team’s PR department.

6:24am: Jeff Van Gundy and the Clippers have agreed to a deal that will make him the lead assistant on head coach Tyronn Lue‘s staff, sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Van Gundy’s last role as an assistant coach came from 1989-96 with the Knicks. He was promoted to the head coaching position in 1996 and led the team to a 248-172 (.590) regular season record over five full seasons and parts of two more, winning eight playoff series during that time and making the NBA Finals in 1999.

He later spent four years coaching the Rockets from 2003-07, compiling a 182-146 (.555) regular season record and earning three playoff berths, though Houston didn’t win a postseason series under Van Gundy.

A longtime broadcaster for ESPN following his coaching career, Van Gundy was let go by the network in 2023 and joined the Celtics as a senior consultant. He recently lauded the franchise for throwing him “a lifeline” following a tumultuous period in his personal life and enjoyed a memorable year in Boston, capped by the franchise’s 18th championship.

There was some speculation that Van Gundy could move to the sidelines for the Celtics next season as a member of Joe Mazzulla‘s staff, but a more recent report cited a role with the Clippers as a growing possibility. Head of basketball operations Lawrence Frank has reportedly long been an admirer of Van Gundy, and the team had a hole to fill on Lue’s staff after veteran assistant Dan Craig departed for a job with the Bulls.

Van Gundy’s relationship with Lue was also a factor in Los Angeles’ ability to hire him, Wojnarowski notes. The two coaches have worked together with Team USA.

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