The New Orleans Pelicans have tapped Stan Van Gundy to be the team’s next head coach.
Van Gundy is a veteran coach who has previously led the Miami Heat, Orlando Magic, and Detroit Pistons. He will become the Pelicans’ seventh coach in the franchise’s history.
According to reports, the Pelicans decided to go with Van Gundy because of his years of experience and because of the fact that he is known as an excellent teacher who should be able to improve the fundamentals of a young Pelicans team and give them a real identity.
The teams that Van Gundy has coached have also been notoriously stingy on defense, which is something that the Pelicans want to become as well. In the 11 seasons Van Gundy has coached in the NBA, his teams were in the top half of the NBA in defensive rating all but one year.
As a head coach, Van Gundy has a 523-384 record. He has been to the NBA Finals once, leading the Magic there in 2009, where they lost to the Kobe Bryant-led Los Angeles Lakers in five games.
The Pelicans have an intriguing young core that features last year’s No.1 overall pick Zion Williamson and Brandom Ingram, who was named the NBA’s Most Improved Player last season.