Stan Van Gundy Rumors
Last week, Stan Van Gundy said he and David Griffin “weren’t on the same page” in New Orleans. Tuesday, he elaborated on their philosophical differences. In an appearance on the Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz, Van Gundy said one of Griffin’s main concerns was the “atmosphere” around the team. Van Gundy said he was most concerned by what happened in between the lines.
“I felt that the focus should be on what went on on the court,” Van Gundy said. “What was good. What was bad. All of that. I think Griff was concerned with the atmosphere around the team and the happiness of people and things like that. I think that was probably the biggest difference. If I would’ve gone into a meeting and somebody were to say, ‘Hey, you were 31-41, and that’s not good enough,’ I have no problem with that. That’s what we sign up for in this business. Regardless of circumstances, that’s what we sign up for in this business. But that’s not what it came down to or what I heard.”
Van Gundy said he thinks he and the Pelicans will be happier in the long run that their marriage dissolved so quickly. “It will be better for everybody,” Van Gundy said. “You certainly need alignment between your coach and your front office. It’ll be better for everybody, I think. My wife and I will move on with our life and be very, very happy.”
Former New Orleans Pelicans coach Stan Van Gundy made his first public comments since his split with the organization and he made it clear he doesn’t think Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram or any other player had anything to do with his departure. “I hate when it gets put on players that players are getting coaches fired and things like that. I think that makes players look bad and I don’t think that’s fair,” Van Gundy said on the STUpodity podcast. “Players certainly have the right to express their opinion to people and things like that but front offices and owners make decisions and they are the ones who make decisions to fire people. That should never be placed on players.
“I know this, regardless of what happened in that regard, Zion’s no coach killer. He’s a guy who is gonna help you win a lot of games. He plays the game the right way. One of the things I’ll miss is the opportunity to continue to coach him. He’s so unique in the way that he plays the game and the things that he can do, it really gets your mind spinning as a coach and you have a lot of possibilities in what you can do with him. That was fun to explore. I’m happy with what we did with Zion. I think we helped him. How anyone else felt about that would be up to them.”
“I don’t know anything about that,” Van Gundy said. “In my mind, I liked coaching Zion. I had a good relationship with him. I had no problem. I think we elevated his platform that we gave him. We put him in different situations, had him handling the ball a lot, playing a lot of point guard. I think we did some good things with him. “If they were unhappy, I didn’t hear about it. Zion was unhappy with us not winning more games, but Zion never expressed to me any of that. That doesn’t mean he wasn’t unhappy, it’s possible that they were unhappy with me and that’s what led to the change.”
“I would say it was joint in this sense: I think you can understand this, I don’t want to be somewhere they don’t want me. And they didn’t want me. I wasn’t at that point going to fight to try to stay there,” Van Gundy said. “When I left Detroit, my owner there who I really liked Tom Gores, also said it was a mutual decision. I said yeah, ‘Tom asked me to leave so I left.’ I guess that’s mutual.”