Stan Van Gundy is the New Pelicans Coach

By  //  November 3, 2020

Stan Van Gundy is the new head coach of the New Orleans Pelicans, replacing Alvin Gentry who spent five years with the team. Van Gundy, who has a long history in terms of basketball coaching, takes charge immediately and insists he “can’t wait to get the process started” with the team.

Van Gundy, 61, has most recently been operating as an analyst for TV, using his social media reach to get across his opinions on many occasions. He’s known for being outspoken when it comes to sports, and the New Orleans Pelicans hierarchy will be hoping his style gets the best from the players in the team.

The Californian, who has been coaching for nearly forty years, has held the head coach role on three previous occasions, with differing levels of success along the way. A four-year spell with the Detroit Pistons, which ended in 2018, didn’t go to plan.

Three out of the four seasons saw Detroit under .500, with their record being 152-176. There are many in the game that are backing Van Gundy’s Pelicans to be achieving a better win ratio and that is a view shared by bookmakers and their basketball odds, this time round.

Before his stint as coach and director of basketball operations in Detroit, Van Gundy took Orlando to the 2009 NBA finals. His record was good at 259-135. But a fall out with Dwight Howard did him no favours. Van Gundy also spent time in Miami, where he had a long spell as an assistant, before stepping up into the head coach role.

After an 11-10 start in his third season, the President, Pat Riley, felt the time was right to make a change, dispensing of Van Gundy’s services. Interestingly, Miami Heat went on to secure the title that season.

Taking the reigns at the New Orleans Pelicans, who made a move from Charlotte, N.C., back in the 2002/03 campaign, Van Gundy has a wealth of young, up and coming talent to work with from the off.

Zion Williamson is a prime example. The twenty-year-old, who stands at 6’6, is a serious slam dunker. He’s one of the NBA’s most promising talents, and if Van Gundy can refine his abilities and work with him on some areas of his game, he could go on to have a glittering career.

Van Gundy will likely have Brandon Ingram at his disposal too, who, at the time of writing, is a restricted free agent. He won the award for being the Most Improved Player last term and made his debut in the All-Star team as well.

The New Orleans Pelicans have the thirteenth pick in the draft, and they may have enough of their salary cap remaining to bring in a free agent, which would be a significant boost. So, the new head coach has a lot going in his favour from the off, and it will be up to him to make the right calls if he’s to deliver success, and to enjoy a better time than he did in Detroit.