David Griffin: Stan Van Gundy Decision ‘In Best Interest’ Of Pelicans

Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin officially announced a mutual of parting of ways with coach Stan Van Gundy, calling it a tough decision.David Griffin

Van Gundy coached the Pelicans for just one season, finishing 31-41 and failing to lead Zion Williamson and the Pelicans to the play-in tournament.

“On behalf of (team owner) 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,” Griffin said.

“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.”

Van Gundy becomes the second coach to spend just one year with a team before parting ways, joining Nate Bjorkgren of the Pacers.

Per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Van Gundy had been meeting regularly with Griffin, and that a Van Gundy departure had seemed “inevitable” as a result of those discussions.

“I wasn’t happy with the results,” Van Gundy told reporters at the end of the season. “I wasn’t happy with myself on some things basketball-wise. But as far as looking at the job as a whole, it’s even better than I expected and I expected it to be good.”

Van Gundy, 61, has also coached the Heat, Magic and Pistons, compiling a 554-425 record in 13 seasons overall. That included coaching Dwight Howard and the Magic to the 2009 Finals.

Lakers assistant Jason Kidd, Bucks assistant Charles Lee, and Nets assistants Jacque Vaughn and Ime Udoka could all be under consideration for the New Orleans vacancy, Wojnarowski wrote.

There are currently six NBA coaching vacancies — the Pelicans, Pacers, Celtics, Trail Blazers, Magic and Wizards.

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