Stan Van Gundy agrees to deal to coach NBA Pelicans

Published October 22, 2020, 9:27 AM

by Agence-France-Presse

Stan Van Gundy of the Detroit Pistons reacts in the third quarter against the New York Knicks during their game at Madison Square Garden on March 31, 2018 in New York City. Abbie Parr/Getty Images/AFP

Stan Van Gundy, who spent 12 years as an NBA coach before becoming a television analyst, said Wednesday he has agreed to terms to coach the New Orleans Pelicans.

The 61-year-old American, whose brother Jeff also served as an NBA coach before starting a TV commentary career, replaces Alvin Gentry, who was fired in August after serving as coach of the Pelicans for five seasons.

“I’m excited to join a talented New Orleans Pelicans team,” Van Gundy tweeted. “It will be an honor to work with our players… I can’t wait to talk to our players and get the process started.”

Van Gundy coached the Miami Heat from 2003 to December 2005 when he resigned after an 11-10 start to a campaign in which Pat Riley took over and coached the Heat to an NBA title.

In 2007, Van Gundy took over the Orlando Magic and guided them to the 2009 NBA Finals, but first-round exits in 2011 and 2012 led to his firing after five seasons.

In 2014, he was named coach of the Detroit Pistons, but the club missed the playoffs in three of his four seasons on the bench and he was fired in May 2018.

The Pelicans, sparked by star rookie Zion Williamson, went 30-42 last season. The team started 6-22 and struggled through a 13-game losing skid while Williamson missed 44 games due to knee surgery.

The Pelicans boast a young lineup and have a host of future NBA Draft selections yet to come after trading Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Van Gundy’s teams have a history of tough defensive work. He has a 523-384 record as an NBA head coach.