Stan Van Gundy has returned to coaching. On Thursday, the New Orleans Pelicans named Van Gundy as the team’s head coach.
“I am honored and excited to coach this talented group of players in New Orleans,” said Van Gundy. “This opportunity was one that I was really attracted to due in large part to David Griffin’s record of putting together highly competitive, talented teams in a great family atmosphere. When I got into the interview process and had a chance to meet with Mrs. Benson, Dennis Lauscha, Griff, Trajan Langdon, Swin Cash, and the Pelicans front office, it became clear how committed and invested they are to winning.”
The 61-year-old Van Gundy, who spent last season as a game analyst for TNT and studio analyst for NBA TV, last served as the head coach and president of basketball operations for the Detroit Pistons from 2014-18.
Van Gundy’s most successful stint came in Orlando. He helped lead the Magic to five consecutive postseason appearances, highlighted by an Eastern Conference Championship in 2009. During his tenure with the Magic, the team compiled a 259-135 (.657) regular season record, and Van Gundy was selected as head coach of the Eastern Conference for the 2010 NBA All-Star Game. From 2007-11, Van Gundy’s Magic teams finished in the top five each season in plus/minus, and top 10 each season in three-point shooting, offensive rating, and defensive rating.
New Orleans is a team with a lot of potential. Obviously, they have Zion Williamson. Also, the Pelicans have the league’s Most Improved Player in Brandon Ingram, Jrue Holiday, and they have a 2020 lottery pick, so this team could have a very bright future, which will give Van Gundy a great chance to win in New Orleans.