Stan Van Gundy is the new man in charge in New Orleans.
The New Orleans Pelicans had a disappointing showing in the NBA bubble and it became clear new leadership was needed. Thus, Alvin Gentry was fired and the search was on.
Wednesday afternoon brought an offseason Woj bomb with the news that Stan Van Gundy will now take on the task of leading Zion Williamson and the Pelicans to greatness.
Stan Van Gundy gets another chance
Van Gundy was most recently serving as a color commentator for TNT and was a good one at that. This came after a mediocre tenure with the Detroit Pistons in which he also had control over the roster.
Now Van Gundy is back just as the head coach and will oversee a team stacked with talent. Williamson is the golden goose of the franchise and GM David Griffin will want to make sure the team is competitive so Zion stays with the Pelicans for the duration of his career.
Jrue Holiday is coming back for another year as is Lonzo Ball and veteran J.J. Redick. Brandon Ingram, who had a breakout year, is a restricted free agent.
Jeff Van Gundy is rumored to be connected to the Houston Rockets job and his brother beat him back into the league with New Orleans. Having both back on the bench and off broadcasts will delight some fans, but also shows how both are respected among NBA circles.
The elder Van Gundy, Stan, took the Pistons to the playoffs once during his time in Detroit. He has been to the NBA Finals once, with Orlando, and may have won a title in Miami if he had not been forced out of that job by Pat Riley.
It was clear that Gentry just wasn’t working out for this Pelicans team. Now Van Gundy comes in after a tenure in Detroit that is similar to what Gentry had in New Orleans. The difference is a young core that was seen to be underachieving. The Pelicans believe Van Gundy is the right man for the job and fans are hoping he can do more with a No. 1 overall pick than what was done with Anthony Davis.