Joe Mazzulla on Celtics’ Jeff Van Gundy Hire: Fortunate That He’s Here

Coach Joe Mazzulla made it clear he’s in favor of the hire of Jeff Van Gundy as Celtics senior basketball consultant.Joe Mazzulla

“Anytime you can add like high-character, high-level, professional people, I think it’s a no-brainer,” Mazzulla said, via Souichi Terada of MassLive. “Fortunate enough that he’s here, not just for the coaching staff, but for everybody and he’s been through every imaginable situation in the NBA, in coaching, FIBA, NBA and so we’re just lucky to have him. And he’s a great listener and a great worker. So he’s added a lot of value, even in the first couple of weeks.”

Mazzulla said Van Gundy — who spent the past 16 years as an ESPN in-game analyst — will offer the Celtics a “bird’s eye view” of what’s taking place on the court. Mazulla also intends to ask for Van Gundy’s regular input.

“Try to run a lot of stuff by him,” Mazzulla said. “It’s good to get a guy who hasn’t been here before that can kind of have an unbiased opinion as to where he thinks things are, and where they need to go. And so he’s kind of like a fresh set of eyes because he’s not around all the time. And he’s looking at it from an unbiased position, which kind of gives us an advantage because you kind of see it in a different perspective.”

As a head coach, Van Gundy led the Knicks to the 1999 Finals, where they lost to the Spurs. He compiled a 430-318 record in 11 seasons as a coach of the Knicks and Rockets overall.

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