Pelicans, Van Gundy agree to part ways after 1 season
"On behalf of Mrs. Gayle Benson and the Pelicans organization, I would like to thank Stan for the integrity and professionalism that he demonstrated during his time in New Orleans, as well as the commitment and work ethic he brought to our team," Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin said in a statement.
"This was a difficult decision as I have tremendous respect for Stan both personally and professionally, but we agreed it is in the best interest of our team to move forward in a different direction. We wish Stan, Kim and their family all the best in the future."
Brooklyn Nets assistants Jacque Vaughn and Ime Udoka, Charles Lee of the Milwaukee Bucks, and Jason Kidd of the Los Angeles Lakers are expected to be candidates after being in running for the job a year ago, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reports. Pelicans assistant Fred Vinson will also get serious consideration for the gig, Wojnarowski adds.
Teresa Weatherspoon, another Pelicans assistant, is also expected to receive consideration, according to Marc Stein of the New York Times. The former WNBA star joined the organization in 2019 as a two-way player development coach and has been praised by Zion Williamson for improving his offensive play.
New Orleans finished 31-41 this past season and missed the playoffs for the third straight year.
The club continued to struggle defensively under Van Gundy, finishing 23rd in defensive efficiency (113.3 points per 100 possessions) and 24th in points allowed per game (114.9).