The New Orleans Pelicans agreed terms with veteran NBA coach Stan Van Gundy to become their next coach, according to multiple reports, which was later confirmed by Van Gundy via Twitter.
I am excited to be part of the talented New Orleans Pelicans team. It would be an honor to work with our players and to work with Mrs. Benson, David Griffin, Trajan Langdon, their staff, and the great people of New Orleans. I can’t wait to talk to our players and start the process
Stan Van Gondy (@realStanVG) October 21, 2020
Van Gondy was working as an NBA analyst at Turner Sports before this deal was approved. Prior to that, Van Gondi spent 12 seasons as a coach in the NBA from 2003-18, serving in that role with the Miami Heat (2003-2006), the Orlando Magic (2007-12) and the Detroit Pistons (2014-18).
Andrew Lopez (_Andrew_Lopez) October 21, 2020
Sources: Stan Van Gondy has agreed to a four-year deal to be the Pelicans’ new coach.
Shams Sharania October 21, 2020
The Pelicans sacked coach Alvin Gentry in early August after he had held the position of New Orleans coach for the previous five seasons. New Orleans went 30-42 last season, finishing with just two wins in their last eight matches despite having the best overall demo pick Zion Williamson and first Star Brandon Ingram debut in the squad until the club was eliminated from competition in the supplement two games to play.
New Orleans began the 2019-20 season at 6-22 with a 13-game losing streak as Williamson missed his first 44 games of the season while recovering from knee surgery. The pelicans are back in competition on the extension dock and were in nearly perfect health when the season resumed in Central Florida in July after a hiatus caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Pelicans have had three rookie players this season – Williamson, Ingram and Lonzo Ball – who are under the age of 24 and have no accessory experience. Two other regular players – Jaxson Hayes and Nickeil Alexander Walker – were also draft picks in the 2019 first round. Pelicans have a slew of draft picks that will come from last year’s Anthony Davis trade to the Lakers.
According to multiple reports, what separated Van Gondi from the host of other potential names for the vacancy in New Orleans is his ability to forge young talent as well as his history of building top defensive teams in the NBA. In Miami, Van Gondi’s teams did not rank 10th in the defensive ranking (103.4 in 2005-2006), His team in Orlando ranked fifth in the defensive ranking for three consecutive seasons.2008-11The Pistons improved from 25th in the defensive classification before reaching (2013-14) to the top 10 defensive team at His last two seasons.
Pelican was sold based on SVG’s abilities as a teacher with a young roster, his history of building major defense teams and his vision of crew in place. His Detroit personnel decisions were a non-research factor; He’s coming to coach. https://t.co/XhWcUCIxKo
– Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 21, 2020
Van Gondi coached 907 matches in his career, setting the record 523-384 and leading the magic to the Finals in 2009. His attacking streak around Dwight Howard’s position was instrumental in Orlando’s access to the Finals. Howard became a nominee for Kia’s Best Player under Van Gondi’s tutelage and won three consecutive Best Defensive Player awards from Kia (2008-11) while playing with Van Gundy. In addition, Jamir Nelson and Richard Lewis enjoyed an all-star singles season under Van Gundy (2008-09) while Ryan Anderson was named Kia’s Player of the Year as a player under Van Gundy (2011-12).
As the Heat coach, Van Gondi went 112-73 as Miami moved into a new era with young superstar Dwayne Wade. Prior to the 2004-05 season, Heat traded with former Kia MVP winner Shaquille O’Neal in a superb swap with the Los Angeles Lakers. Hit reached the Eastern Conference Finals where he lost to the Pistons and after an 11-10 start in 2005-06, Van Gondi was fired and replaced by his current boss Pat Riley as coach.
In Detroit, Van Gondi went to 152-176 over the course of four years as head coach of Detroit and head of basketball operations with only one playoff appearance – losing 4–0 in the first round to Cleveland in 2016 – to show it. He styled the trade in 2017-18 with the Los Angeles Clippers former All-Star striker Blake Griffin. Although Detroit got off to a hot start with Griffin, the Pistons faltered on his stretch and missed the playoffs for the second consecutive season and the third time in four seasons.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.
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