NBA Rumor: Pelicans Coaching Search

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JJ Redick put in the good word for SVG

Everyone has been talking about the New Orleans Pelicans and how head coach Stan Van Gundy almost came out of nowhere to land their head coaching job. Though not a lot of players in the current Pelicans roster know their newly acquired head coach on a personal level, it’s been reported that his former player in JJ Redick actually played a huge role in helping the front office in pursue the 61-year old head coach. “JJ Redick, I have been told, had a big role here.” ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said on ‘The Jump’. “JJ played for him [in Orlando], was a big part of the background and recruiting process.”

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1 day ago via NBA.com

“I am honored and excited to coach this talented group of players in New Orleans,” said Van Gundy. “This opportunity was one that I was really attracted to due in large part to David Griffin’s record of putting together highly competitive, talented teams in a great family atmosphere. When I got into the interview process and had a chance to meet with Mrs. Benson, Dennis Lauscha, Griff, Trajan Langdon, Swin Cash and the Pelicans front office, it became clear how committed and invested they are to winning. My wife Kim and I want to thank Mrs. Benson, along with Griff, Trajan, Swin and the front office for welcoming our family and entrusting me to lead this team. We look forward to working with this great organization and getting involved in the New Orleans community.”
1 day ago via NBA.com

“It is a pleasure to welcome Stan and his family to New Orleans,” said Pelicans Governor Gayle Benson. “Stan’s basketball acumen and record of accomplishment are a tremendous fit for this team right now. We look forward to Stan bringing a level of sustained success for our Pelicans on the court. I also want to commend David Griffin, Trajan Langdon, Swin Cash and the entire front office for the time and effort put into this comprehensive head coaching search.”

As New Orleans’ front office navigated the coaching waters, Van Gundy’s reputation as a teacher of the game in his 11-plus seasons as an NBA head coach stood out – teaching that will become key as New Orleans attempts to make the leap with a young roster. Van Gundy’s teams also have always stood out on the defensive end. In the 11 seasons he finished as a head coach, Van Gundy’s teams were in the top half in the NBA in defensive rating 10 times – including his last three seasons in Detroit. His teams finished top 10 in defensive rating eight of those seasons.

Van Gundy’s reputation as a teacher of the game in 11-plus seasons with the Miami Heat, Orlando Magic and Detroit Pistons has made him a formidable candidate for a young Pelicans roster. The Pelicans — 30-42 and 13th in the Western Conference last season — have a young core that includes Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram, as well as veterans Jrue Holiday and JJ Redick. The Pelicans are expected to be a team capable of making significant progress in the standings in the next few years.

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