Jeff Van Gundy will be seen on the bench again in the NBA after the former Houston Rockets head coach reportedly agreed to a contract with the Los Angeles Clippers as an assistant to Ty Lue, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

“Jeff Van Gundy has agreed on a deal to become the lead assistant on Ty Lue's LA Clippers coaching staff, sources told ESPN. Van Gundy is considered one of the finest minds in basketball and had been pursued for years to return to coaching on a full-time basis. His relationship with Lue and the franchise's fondness for Van Gundy played major parts in the Clippers' ability to land him, sources said.”

It has been a while since the last time Van Gundy was part of an NBA team's coaching staff. His most recent stint as a head coach in the league was with the Houston Rockets, whom he called the shots for from the sidelines from 2003 to 2007. He also coached the New York Knicks from 1996 to 2001.

The Rockets gave him his walking papers after the team lost in Game 7 of a first-round series in the 2007 NBA Playoffs against the Utah Jazz. After parting ways with the Rockets, Van Gundy went on to have a lengthy career with ESPN as a broadcaster, forming a memorable triumvirate in the booth with Mike Green and Mark Jackson. Van Gundy split with ESPN in 2023 before landing a gig with the Boston Celtics as a senior consultant.

“Any time you get to add like high-character, high-level, professional people, I think it's a no-brainer and so fortunate enough that he's here, not just for the coaching staff, but for everybody,” Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla said of Boston's hiring of Van Gundy just before the start of the 2023-24 NBA season.

Jeff Van Gundy can help the Clippers get over the hump

ESPN commentator Jeff Van Gundy during game four of the Western Conference Finals for the 2023 NBA playoffs between the Denver Nuggets and the Los Angeles Lakers at Arena.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

After helping the Celtics end the franchise's 16-year title drought when Boston defeated the Dallas Mavericks in the 2024 NBA Finals, Van Gundy will be looking next to assist Lue and the Clippers in their quest to win LA's first-ever league title. Interestingly enough, the team that Van Gundy and the Celtics beat in the finals was the same club that eliminated the Clippers in the first round of the recently concluded NBA postseason. (The Clippers lost to Luka Doncic and the Mavs in a series that lasted six games).

Despite a superstar-laden roster, the Clippers have failed to get out of the first round of the playoffs in both of the last two seasons. They still have Paul George and Kawhi Leonard in the fold, and barring any shocking trades in the offseason involving either stars, the Clippers should be once again viewed as among the chief contenders for the title in the 2024-25 NBA campaign.

Fans react to LA's move on Van Gundy

Van Gundy's looming return to an NBA bench has basketball fans sharing all sorts of reactions online.

“Solid hire. Can he make aging stars with injury history stay healthy magically though? That’s what the Clippers need,” said X user @FroemelAndy.

“Van Gundy has quite the reputation in basketball, being highly regarded for his coaching acumen,” posted @lil_dee06.

“Ty Lue x Van Gundy. Peak basketball IQ coaches combo,” @Yasuke1886 shared.

“Clippers building a cold back room staff to go as far as 2nd round exit 🤩”

“Ty Lue not messing around for 2025. Bronny joining the Lakers has him shook up,” chimed in @franklinisbored.

From @blindsportsHQ: “I always liked him as a coach he is an old-school coach, just not sure how players like that style anymore.”