Good morning, friends. We’ve hit a bit of a lull, but there’s still a bit happening in the NBA universe. Let’s catch up on a few recent happenings.
Stan Van Gundy named New Orleans Pelicans HC
After a full coaching search, David Griffin and former Timberwolves-interviewee Trajan Langdon have hired Stan Van Gundy to lead their team for the next four years.
ESPN reporting with @_andrew_lopez: Stan Van Gundy has agreed to a deal to become the next coach of the New Orleans Pelicans.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 21, 2020
Van Gundy is a well-respected coach, even if his most recent stint in Detroit was a disappointment. His most famous accomplishment is leading Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic to the NBA Finals in 2009, where they lost to Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers.
I think this is a pretty solid hire for New Orleans. I’m usually not a fan of re-hiring old coaches, but I think SVG makes some sense here since he won’t be tasked with coaching and being the GM, as he was in Detroit. He’s seen as a good tactician and teacher, which should be a good fit with a young team like the Pelicans. I’m excited to see what kind of a defense he is able to put together for a team that struggled mightily on that end of the floor last season.
In reality, we’re the real losers here, as we lose out on Van Gundy as a broadcaster with TNT. He’s an incredible basketball mind, and I’d recommend to listening to him on the Lowe Post (linked below) as he discussed the Pelicans just before the NBA came back in Orlando.
As luck would have it, SVG came on the Lowe Post to talk about the Pelicans' present and future in glorious detail just before the season restart. He had the pulse of the team down: https://t.co/PASdZ0SrQa— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) October 21, 2020
Coaching search in Houston clearing up
For a while, it seemed like Jeff Van Gundy (is this just a Van Gundy family post?) was destined to take the reins of the Houston Rockets. Now, that appears much less likely.
There hasn’t been reporting on this yet, but connecting the dots here would imply that Daryl Morey stepping down has caused Jeff Van Gundy to have second thoughts, with John Lucas now seemingly in the driver’s seat for this job.
On an unrelated note, new Rockets governor Tilman Fertitta has made it a priority to get under and stay under the luxury tax, which makes assembling a championship level harder. Also, it’s worth noting that the longer Houston drags this out, the longer they don’t have to actually pay someone to coach the team.
Gersson Rosas named among “least trusted” front office leaders
Here’s the excerpt from The Athletic:
It’s maybe not the best thing in the world for this to be said about your President of Basketball Operations, but I do think it is kind of funny. It’s also probably true. Rosas seems to have a pretty strong relationship with Woj, so it isn’t hard to imagine that he feeds Woj info that he wants put out to the public.
In truth, I couldn’t care less what the perception of Rosas is as long as he builds a winning basketball team. Plus, it’s no fun to have a buddy-buddy relationship with everyone anyways.