Former Knicks head coach added to Clippers’ coaching ranks

Jeff Van Gundy, Knicks
Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Clippers just gave Kawhi Leonard and Paul George a reason to smile from ear to ear with their latest coaching hire, being one of the New York Knicks’ finest play-callers in franchise history.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on X that the Clippers agreed to a deal with former Knicks head coach Jeff Van Gundy to be head coach Tyronn Lue’s assistant starting in the 2024-25 season (h/t Geoff Magliocchetti of Fan Nation’s All Knicks):

Former Knicks HC and new Clippers hire has a rich 39-year NCAA & NBA coaching history

ESPN commentator Jeff Van Gundy New York Knicks

Van Gundy spent the 2023-24 campaign as a coaching consultant for the Boston Celtics. He played a vital role in the Celtics’ organization and contributed to them winning the 2024 NBA Finals. The 62-year-old has an extensive coaching history that merits the Clippers’ hire. This includes a 430-318 career head coaching record in the Association.

Before manning the Knicks’ sidelines in the 1980s and 90s, Van Gundy coached in the NCAA ranks as an assistant for Providence and Rutgers from 1986-1989. The California native joined the Knicks as an assistant under Hall of Fame head coach Pat Riley in 1989 and inherited the position in 1996 when Riley departed for the Miami Heat. Van Gundy led the Knicks from 1996-2001 and then the Houston Rockets from 2003-2007.

Van Gundy will elevate the Clippers as a threat to the Knicks & the NBA at large

The former Nazareth University point guard took a break from coaching to serve as a broadcaster chiefly on ABC. Now, Van Gundy will once again concoct schemes for an NBA team.

The Knicks won’t have to look over their shoulders for Van Gundy’s Clippers as they play in different conferences. However, the former 2000 NBA All-Star Game head coach’s presence next to Lue will be paramount to the Clippers putting together the missing pieces of their pre-existing championship structure in L.A.

He only increases their chances of making the Finals next season. The Knicks could come away from the 2024 offseason as an even stronger team out East, making a Finals matchup between the two within the realm of possibility.

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