Mon, 26 Jul 2021

Pelicans part ways with coach Stan Van Gundy

Field Level Media
17 Jun 2021, 02:55 GMT+10

Stan Van Gundy is out after one season as head coach of the New Orleans Pelicans.

The Pelicans and Van Gundy mutually agreed to part ways, per the team's release on Wednesday.

Van Gundy, on Wednesday, joined Nate Bjorkgren (Indiana Pacers) as coaches who are no longer with their teams after being hired prior to the 2020-21 season.

Per The Athletic, Pelicans assistant Teresa Weatherspoon is a "serious candidate" to be the next head coach. Weatherspoon, a former WNBA star and later the women's head coach at her alma mater, Louisiana Tech, was named an assistant coach with the Pelicans in November.

With Van Gundy's departure, former top overall pick Zion Williamson will be looking at his third different head coach in as many NBA seasons in 2021-22.

The Pelicans did not qualify for the playoffs after posting a 31-41 record under Van Gundy in 2020-21. They won four of their first six games to start the season before failing to climb over .500 for the remainder of the campaign.

"On behalf of Mrs. Gayle Benson and the Pelicans organization, I would like to thank Stan for the integrity and professionalism that he demonstrated during his time in New Orleans, as well as the commitment and work ethic he brought to our team," said David Griffin, Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations.

"This was a difficult decision as I have tremendous respect for Stan both personally and professionally, but we agreed it is in the best interest of our team to move forward in a different direction. We wish Stan, Kim and their family all the best in the future."

Van Gundy, 61, assumed the head coaching position two months after the team fired Alvin Gentry in August. The Pelicans had a 30-42 record under Gentry in 2019-20.

Van Gundy has 13 years of experience as a head coach, including three years in Miami, five in Orlando and four in Detroit. His most successful run came with the Magic, whom he led to a 259-135 mark from 2007-12 while guiding the team to the playoffs each season. The 2008-09 Magic advanced to the NBA Finals.

Overall, Van Gundy is 554-425 in his career with eight playoff appearances in his 13 seasons.

--Field Level Media

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