Jeff Van Gundy reportedly joins Ty Lue's Clippers staff as lead assistant

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - AUGUST 03: Jeff Van Gundy attends a practice session during the USA Men's National Team training camp at the Mendenhall Center at UNLV as the team gets ready for the FIBA Men’s Basketball World Cup on August 03, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Jeff Van Gundy is reportedly joining Tyronn Lue's coaching staff with the Clippers, his first NBA coaching job since 2007. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Jeff Van Gundy is back on an NBA coaching staff.

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Van Gundy has signed a deal to become lead assistant with the Los Angeles Clippers, joining the staff of head coach Tyronn Lue. Van Gundy and Lue have been friends since they both worked together on USA Basketball's staff several years ago.

This is the 62-year-old Van Gundy's first NBA coaching job since 2007. He'd spent the previous 17 years coaching the Houston Rockets and New York Knicks, then took a broadcasting job with ESPN after he was fired by the Rockets.

It was a perfect fit. Van Gundy thrived at ESPN, combining wit and humor with his sharp intellect for the game. According to Woj, Van Gundy is considered one of the "finest minds in basketball," and he spent his 16-year career at ESPN fending off numerous offers from teams trying to get him back into coaching.

Those teams had their best shot last year, when Van Gundy was laid off from ESPN in June 2023. He didn't jump into another broadcasting job, preferring instead to dip a toe back into the NBA by taking a job as a senior consultant to Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens.

It worked out pretty well. The Celtics dominated the Dallas Mavericks on Monday night to become NBA champions. Less than 12 hours later, Van Gundy is back in the coaching game.