Former Pistons coach, president Stan Van Gundy back in action with Pelicans
Stan Van Gundy is going from the broadcast booth back to the sidelines.
The former Detroit Pistons team president and coach, who had been a TV analyst for TNT, has agreed to coach the New Orleans Pelicans.
Van Gundy, 61, was with the Pistons from 2014-18 in the unique dual role of running the front office and coaching the team before he was let go prior to the final year of his contract. He built a 152-176 record in his tenure with the Pistons, including the team’s last playoff appearance, in 2016. That team went 44-38 before a four-game sweep to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the postseason.
"I’m excited to join a talented New Orleans Pelicans team," Van Gundy posted on Twitter. "It will be an honor to work with our players and to work for (Pelicans team owner Gayle) Benson and (team president) David Griffin, (general manager) Trajan Langdon, their staff and the great people of New Orleans. I can’t wait to talk to our players and get the process started."
Van Gundy is getting a four-year deal.
Adding Van Gundy provides a new direction for forward Zion Williamson, the franchise player who worked through an injury-riddled rookie season. The Pelicans were 30-42 last season under Alvin Gentry.
“Pelicans were sold on SVG’s abilities as a teacher with a young roster, his history of building top defensive teams and his vision for the roster in place,” ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported.
“His personnel decisions in Detroit was a non-factor in search; he’s coming to coach.”
Van Gundy was head coach for the Orlando Magic from 2007-12 and led them to the NBA Finals in 2009. He also was head coach for the Miami Heat from 2003-06.