Stan Van Gundy is getting back into the coaching game. According to Andrew Lopez and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the New Orleans Pelicans have opted to hand the keys of the franchise over to the former Miami Heat, Orlando Magic, and Detroit Pistons head coach. New Orleans has been in the market for a new coach since parting ways with Alvin Gentry earlier this year following the team’s inability to make the playoffs.
ESPN reporting with @_andrew_lopez: Stan Van Gundy has agreed to a deal to become the next coach of the New Orleans Pelicans.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 21, 2020
The news was confirmed by Shams Charania of The Athletic, who noted that Van Gundy will receive a four-year deal.
Sources: Stan Van Gundy agreed to a four-year deal to be the new Pelicans head coach.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) October 21, 2020
Van Gundy’s name has been in the mix for this job for a few days, as he was listed as one of the finalists for this position. It is unclear who all three of the other finalists were, but it had been reported that Tyronn Lue was one of them prior to his accepting of the Los Angeles Clippers’ vacancy.
While it is not a surprise that Van Gundy wanted to get back into coaching, he had found a niche as a broadcaster with Turner, both in the studio and as an in-game analyst, the latter of which led to him receiving plenty of praise. But now, he’s returning to the league, where he’ll be tasked with molding one of the brightest young rosters in all of basketball, particularly the 1-2 punch of Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson.