Fred Vinson Rumors
The New Orleans Pelicans announced today the hiring of Bob Beyer, Casey Hill, and Rex Walters as assistant coaches, along with Corey Brewer and Beno Udrih as player development coaches. They join Assistant Coach Fred Vinson and Teresa Weatherspoon, who has been promoted to assistant coach, and Player Development Coach Darnell Lazare on Head Coach Stan Van Gundy’s staff. Per team policy, terms of the deals were not disclosed.
“I am excited about our coaching staff,” said Van Gundy. “We have a great mix of background, experience, perspective and expertise. Four of our assistants have been head coaches at the professional or NCAA Division I levels. Five of our coaches played in the NBA or WNBA. Three coaches have institutional knowledge having worked for Griff, Trajan and current Pelicans players, while three others have worked with me and two bring us an entirely new perspective. I am looking forward to working with this staff to maximize the potential of our talented players.”
Ball made some serious strides with his 3-point shot this past season, and it forced teams to start defending him differently. In his first season with the Pels, he made nearly as many 3s (148) as he did in his first two years with the Lakers (165), and he shot a career-best 37.5 percent from deep. It was clear the daily work he put in with Brandon Ingram and assistant coach Fred Vinson was building his confidence with his shot. The issue is it’s hard to tell which Ball was the one we should expect to see next season.
Ball as an actual shooting threat is a compound benefit, because if defenses respect his shot it allows him to stay on the floor in fourth quarters – and thus allows Holiday to play his more natural off-guard spot. The common thread with both Ingram and Ball is Pelicans shooting coach Fred Vinson, and this isn’t his first rodeo in transforming shooters. Vinson’s work with two players we eventually had in Memphis – Quincy Pondexter and Tyreke Evans – helped transform both from perimeter non-entities to plus 3-point threats. Obviously the players’ work plays a huge role in this – Quincy in particular was an absolute gym rat, and Ball has by all indications put a lot of sweat equity into his shot. But in a league where shot fixes historically have been more easily said than done, Vinson continues to add to a pretty impressive catalog. One can’t help wonder if Williamson will be his next transformation.
Ball is working on improving his shooting form with longtime Pelicans assistant coach Fred Vinson, who has had simple advice for Ball: bring the ball straight up and use his legs to get more power on the shot. Vinson also helped Tyreke Evans become a better shooter, especially on 3-pointers, with New Orleans.
The New Orleans Pelicans announced today the additions and changes to Head Coach Alvin Gentry’s coaching staff. Chris Finch has been named Associate Head Coach, Offense. Jeff Bzdelik (Associate Head Coach, Defense) and Jamelle McMillan (Assistant Coach) join Fred Vinson on the coaching staff. Joe Boylan has been elevated to Assistant Coach/Director of Player Development, while Michael Ruffin has been promoted to Assistant coach/Player Development.
Gentry said he is still looking to fill the one remaining spot on his staff. But Gentry retained Kevin Hanson and Fred Vinson, who both were assistants on former Pelicans Monty Williams’ staff. Hanson will continue working with Davis, while Vinson is expected to remain as a shooting coach to help players like swingman Tyreke Evans. Gentry hired Darren Erman as his lead assistant and New Orleans native Robert Pack earlier this month