Report: Pelicans Hiring Stan Van Gundy As Next Head Coach
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The New Orleans Pelicans have found their next head coach. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, long time NBA head man Stan Van Gundy will assume the duties in New Orleans.
Van Gundy is a 12-year veteran as a head coach and has spent time with the Miami Heat, Orlando Magic, and most recently the Detroit Pistons. He left coaching after the 2017-18 season.
Van Gundy joined his brother Jeff, also a former head coach who has been linked to the Houston Rockets vacant position, during the NBA’s restart as a broadcaster.
“Pelicans were sold on SVG’s abilities as a teacher with a young roster, his history of building top defensive teams and his vision for the roster in place,” Wojnarowski tweeted. “His personnel decisions in Detroit was a non-factor in search; he’s coming to coach.”
Van Gundy’s History Before The Pelicans
Van Gundy has a record of 523-384 during his career. The Pelicans new coach has a long history of developing young rosters into winning teams but has found himself at odds with franchise players throughout his career.
In Miami, Van Gundy abruptly resigned despite fielding a championship-caliber roster with Shaquille O’Neal and Dwyane Wade. Rumors emerged that O’Neal had asked for Van Gundy to be removed, while the future hall of famer later claimed Heat president Pat Riley pushed the coach out. Van Gundy claimed he wanted to spend more time with his family.
In Orlando, star Dwight Howard reportedly asked the front office to fire Van Gundy. Within months, Howard, Van Gundy, and general manager Otis Smith had all left the Magic franchise.
In Detroit, Van Gundy struggled wearing multiple hats as both the head coach and general manager. Still, Van Gundy remained popular in NBA circles with a proven history as a coach, and one that can take young rosters to the next level.
With Brandon Ingram, Zion Williamson, and a slew of young talent in tow, the Pelicans are in good hands with Van Gundy, at least until they need to take the next, next step.
Van Gundy’s deal with the Pelicans is for a reported four years.
Earlier this week the Los Angeles Clippers hired Tyronn Lue, while the Indiana Pacers hired Nate Bjorkgren as their next head coach.
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