The New Orleans Pelicans have finally found their head coach, agreeing to hire Stan Van Gundy, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Andrew Lopez.
Van Gundy inked a four-year contract to take the reigns of a young, but talented, roster in New Orleans, highlighted by Zion Williamson.
Van Gundy says he is ready to take on a head coaching job once again.
“Once I got out of the bubble, time was all I had,” Van Gundy said, according to Bleacher Report. “Walk the dogs in the morning and then sit down and do political stuff. Now, I have a lot more to do, so it’ll be less. And I think when you’re representing an organization, you’ve got to still be true to your beliefs, but the tone of things has to change because you’re not just representing yourself anymore, and you have to be cognizant of that. Nobody in that organization has said, ‘You need to stop tweeting’ or ‘You can’t express your beliefs’ or any of that. Nobody’s said that to me. But I am cognizant of the fact that every once in a while, I can get a little too…harsh, I guess? And I’ll be careful to avoid that.”
“I always knew that I had a desire to coach [again] if the situation was right,” Van Gundy said. “I wasn’t trying to get my name in on every job. I wasn’t calling my agent about every job. This one was one that I thought was a good fit on both sides, so I was very interested in it. I loved broadcasting. I was having a great time with it. A lot of people were helping me learn and try to get better, and I would have been fine and very, very happy if I had done that for the rest of my working life. But I guess deep down, I’m always a coach. When the right situation came, I was happy to be involved in it.”
Van Gundy is excited about the youth and potential of the Pelicans roster.
“They’ve got nine guys that are under the age of 25,” Van Gundy said. “So a lot of young talent, and a lot of veteran guys who are still very productive and high-character guys. Jrue Holiday, JJ Redick, Derrick Favors, E’Twaun Moore. They have a good balance, but a lot of young talent that has a chance to grow. It’s an exciting team to think about. Obviously a long way to go. They ended up 13th in the West, so it’s not like you were right there knocking on the door, but the talent is there.”