Alvin Gentry is out, and Stan Van Gundy has entered the chat. The Pelicans have their new head coach, and Stan, the man, is back. After calling broadcasting games in the bubble, Van Gundy will return to the sidelines to coach Zion.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN was the first to report the news:
Van Gundy, 61, will sign a four-year contract with New Orleans. The Idaho native will now get to coach his fourth NBA team. Van Gundy had prior stops in Miami, Orlando, and Detroit. His success came in Orlando when he led the Magic to a 259-135 (.657) record over five seasons. That also included a Finals run in 2009 with Dwight Howard.
The fate and future development of Zion Williamson, Lonzo Ball, and Brandon Ingram now rest in Van Gundy’s hands.
Along with the young stars, New Orleans has established veterans in JJ Redick and Jrue Holliday. General manager David Griffin also has a bevy of draft picks to work with after the Anthony Davis trade. New Orleans has handed the keys to Van Gundy.
Stan’s brother, Jeff, is a candidate for the Houston Rockets job. Could both Van Gundy brothers return to the NBA? With Daryl Morey out in Houston, it’s unclear what direction they will go in. Jeff could be the guy in Houston. Consequentially, ESPN and TNT would have to replace both of them in on-air responsibilities.
The offseason will be a fascinating one for New Orleans. How do they build a winner around Zion? Well, we now know that Stan Van Gundy will be his head coach for the foreseeable future.