Celtics May Add 11-Year Head Coach to Joe Mazzulla's Staff Next Season

Mar 12, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; ESPN commentator Jeff Van Gundy during the game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the New York Knicks Crypto.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 12, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; ESPN commentator Jeff Van Gundy during the game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the New York Knicks Crypto.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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The Celtics are four wins from Banner 18. The focus is on their best-of-seven against the Dallas Mavericks with the Larry O'Brien Trophy on the line. The series starts on Thursday at TD Garden.

Having homecourt advantage is a distinct difference from when Boston reached this stage in 2022, a shift that Jayson Tatum voiced his excitement about while discussing his gratitude for his second opportunity to play in the championship round.

But the NBA Draft, now a two-day event, is later this month, requiring attention from those within the franchise who can give it now. There's also the reality that the Celtics will have to reconfigure their coaching staff again, replacing Charles Lee. The team's lead assistant has finally received his long-deserved opportunity to move to the one chair, a seat he'll occupy for the Hornets.

In Charlotte, he'll play an integral role in developing a promising young core of Brandon Miller, LaMelo Ball, and Mark Williams. The Hornets also have the sixth overall pick in this year's NBA Draft.

And while JJ Redick's relationship with LeBron James suggests he's the favorite to fill the Lakers' head-coaching vacancy, Sam Cassell is a finalist for that position.

Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

According to Marc Stein, who reported on his Substack, The Stein Line, league sources have told him Boston's exploring the idea of adding Jeff Van Gundy to Joe Mazzulla's coaching staff next season.

The 11-year NBA bench boss now works with the Celtics as a senior consultant on the basketball operations side.

"This guy has a wealth of experience, a wealth of knowledge, and yet acts like an entry-level intern," the team's president of basketball operations, Brad Stevens, shared about Van Gundy in a February conversation with NBC Sports Boston's Chris Forsberg. "He's kind to everybody; he's the most humble guy you've ever met."

Before an April contest between the Celtics and Hornets, Steve Clifford said of Van Gundy during his pregame media availability, "As knowledge as a basketball person as there is at any level. In our profession, just coaches, I mean, he's a giant."

If he's open to it, Van Gundy, who won 430 games as an NBA head coach and helped guide the New York Knicks to the Finals in 1999, moving from a consulting role to joining the coaching staff when Lee departs, would add an experienced and accomplished coach who has familiarity with Mazzulla and the Celtics' organization.

Further Reading

Jayson Tatum Grateful for Second Chance in NBA Finals

Kristaps Porzingis Making Encouraging Progress Toward NBA Finals Return

NBA Finals MVP Odds: Jayson Tatum Front-Runner for Bill Russell Trophy

NBA Finals Betting Lines: Celtics Significant Favorites Over Mavs

Joe Mazzulla Eviscerates Contrived Narrative about Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown

Celtics-Mavericks NBA Finals Has Kyrie Irving Between Boston and Banner 18

Al Horford Returns to NBA Finals Aiming to Add to a Legacy Already Cemented

Jaylen Brown's Evolution Propels Him to Eastern Conference Finals MVP


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Bobby Krivitsky

BOBBY KRIVITSKY

Bobby Krivitsky's experiences include covering the NBA as a credentialed reporter for Basketball Insiders. He's also a national sports talk host for SportsMap Radio, a network airing on 96 radio stations throughout the country. Additionally, he was a major-market host, update anchor, and producer for IMG Audio, and he worked for Bleacher Report as an NFL and NBA columnist.