Former Miami Heat and Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy has joined New Orleans Pelicans as the head coach, after taking a gap of two years from coaching.
Stan Van Gundy, a veteran who has coaching experience in the NBA spanning 12 seasons, last worked with Detroit Pistons for four years from 2014 to 2018. After his stint with the Pistons, Van Gundy took two years off from coaching.
Now, the 61-year-old has returned to what he does best and has agreed to a 5-year deal with Pelicans, who gave their previous head coach Alvin Gentry the marching orders back in August after spending five seasons with the team.
Stan is the older brother of Jeff Van Gundy, who is a former New York Knicks and Houston Rockets coach.
An honor to work with Pelicans: Stan Van Gundy
After penning down the new contract with Pelicans, Stan Van Gundy took to Twitter to show his enthusiasm for his new stint in the Western Conference.
“I’m excited to join a talented New Orleans Pelicans team,” Van Gundy tweeted on Thursday.
“It will be an honor to work with our players and to work for Mrs. Benson and David Griffin, 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,” the coach added.
I’m excited to join a talented New Orleans Pelicans team. It will be an honor to work with our players and to work for Mrs. Benson and David Griffin, 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
— Stan Van Gundy (@realStanVG) October 21, 2020
Pelicans, who finished 30-42 in the 2019-20 NBA season, have now failed to make it to the playoffs for two back to back seasons.
Although Van Gundy is yet to taste the NBA silverware, the two-time NBA All-Star Game head coach is expected to boost the confidence for Pelicans as they look forward to the next NBA season, scheduled to commence from 18th January 2021.