New Orleans Pelicans cut ties with Stan Van Gundy after just one season

Stan Van Gundy of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Stan Van Gundy of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

The New Orleans Pelicans hunt for a coach again after parting ways with Stan Van Gundy.

One of the more disappointing teams during the NBA season were the New Orleans Pelicans. They had high expectations with Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram, and Lonzo Ball leading the way. So when they hired Stan Van Gundy as their head coach last offseason, it was thought that his coaching style would be the fire needed to catapult the team into contention.

It looks like that experiment is already over.

The Pelicans have fired Van Gundy as their head coach, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Andrew Lopez. New Orleans finished 11th in the Western Conference with a 31-41 record. Inconsistency was the team’s problem throughout the year, failing to finish games down the stretch.

The Pelicans lost 14 games after having a double-digit lead, the most in the NBA in 2020. Van Gundy’s inability to connect with a young roster also contributed to his departure, according to He and star forward Brandon Ingram’s relationship became strained throughout the year, which could’ve been the signal that the coach’s days were numbered.

Stan Van Gundy is out of New Orleans, so who will the Pelicans replace him with?

New Orleans already has some names they are looking at as candidates for their head coach opening. Assistant coach Teresa Weatherspoon is one of the early candidates to be a replacement for Van Gundy, according to Marc Stein. She played in the WNBA, being a two-time Defensive Player of the Year award-winner and a five-time All-Star, according to ESPN. She joined the Pelicans in 2020, becoming the eighth female full-time assistant coach in the NBA.

Some other candidates they will look at are assistants Jacque Vaughn and Ime Udoka of the Brooklyn Nets, Charles Lee of the Milwaukee Bucks and Jason Kidd of the Los Angeles Lakers, according to Woj.

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