Pelicans fire Stan Van Gundy after just one season
Stan Van Gundy Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports

Pelicans fire Stan Van Gundy after just one season as head coach

Stan Van Gundy is reportedly out as head coach of the New Orleans Pelicans after just one season, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Andrew Lopez. 

Wojnarowski adds that Van Gundy and Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin had been meeting regularly to discuss the future, and ending their partnership after one season began to feel like an "inevitable result around the organization."

Van Gundy was hired as head coach of the Pelicans in October 2020 after stints with the Miami Heat, Orlando Magic and Detroit Pistons. 

The 61-year-old led the Pelicans to a 31-41 record and an 11th-place finish in the Western Conference. New Orleans missed the postseason for the third consecutive season. 

The Athletic's Sam Amick reported last month that there was "tension" between the Pelicans players and Van Gundy. However, it's unclear if the reported rift played a role in his firing. 

"In New Orleans, the players are not vibing with the coach," Amick said on KHTK Sports Sacramento. "There's issues there."

It's worth noting that the implementation of Van Gundy and his system occurred during the pandemic, which was a challenge for everybody. Van Gundy also hadn't been on the sidelines in two NBA seasons before joining the Pelicans, so it probably took him some time to adjust to life back on the court. 

According to ESPN, the Pelicans are expected to pursue Brooklyn Nets assistants Jacque Vaughn and Ime Udoka, Milwaukee Bucks assistant Charles Lee and Los Angeles Lakers assistant Jason Kidd to fill their vacant head coaching position. 

Erin Walsh is a Boston sports fan through and through. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Bridgewater State University and currently is in pursuit of her Master's Degree in Journalism from Northeastern University. Follow her on Twitter @ewalsh90.

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