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#pounditFriday, July 12, 2024

Jeff Van Gundy hired by Western Conference team

Jeff Van Gundy looks on

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

Jeff Van Gundy is returning to the sideline next season.

Van Gundy has agreed to a deal to become the top assistant on Ty Lue’s staff with the Los Angeles Clippers, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Tuesday.

Van Gundy last coached in the NBA when he was the head coach of the Houston Rockets from 2003-2007. Lue played for Houston in 2004, and he and Van Gundy have also worked together on the USA Basketball staff.

After he was fired by the Rockets, Van Gundy went to work for ESPN for 16 years. He was laid off by the network last year and spent the 2023-24 season as a consultant for the Boston Celtics, who defeated the Dallas Mavericks to win the NBA championship on Monday night.

Van Gundy also coached the New York Knicks from 1996-2001. He has 430 career wins as a head coach and a postseason record of 44-44. Van Gundy guided the Knicks to the NBA Finals in 1999.

The 61-year-old Van Gundy was also mentioned as a head coach candidate for one Eastern Conference team during the season. If his goal is to become a head coach in the NBA again after nearly two decades off, a prominent assistant coach role should be a good stepping stone.

The Clippers went 51-31 this season and lost to the Dallas Mavericks in the first round of the playoffs, though Kawhi Leonard was injured. They signed Lue to an extension last month.

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