Report: New Orleans Pelicans interview Jeff Van Gundy for Head Coaching vacancy
While there has been no official word from the New Orleans Pelicans franchise, sources have told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity that the Pelicans have interviewed ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy for their current Head Coaching position vacancy, after they fired Monty Williams on May 12th.
Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski first reported the news of the former New York Knicks and Houston Rockets’ Head Coach being interviewed by the Pelicans in the Bay Area, where he was reporting the just concluded Western Conference Finals Series between the Houston Rockets and the Golden State Warriors for ESPN.
In 10 plus seasons of Head Coaching with the Knicks and Rockets, Van Gundy has an overall record of 430-318 (.574) including a trip to the NBA Finals with the Knicks in 1999 where they lost to the San Antonio Spurs. When asked on Wednesday on “the Dan Patrick Show”, Van Gundy declined answering any question related to his relations with the Pelicans but did not hesitate in showing interest to coach a young superstar of the caliber of the 22 year old Anthony Davis.
`'There is no one who ever coached that wouldn't want to coach a great player with great character," said Van Gundy, who coached Patrick Ewing with Knicks. "You know how important that is if you want to win big."
Golden State Warriors’ Head Coach Steve Kerr has confirmed that his assistant Alvin Gentry, a former NBA Head Coach was also interviewed by the Pelicans last week. No confirmations have come in so far however according to sources, Gentry will receive a second interview after the Warriors’ Playoff run ends. Among other names, current Chicago Bulls Head Coach Tom Thibodeau has also been rumored to be a front runner to land the Pelicans job.
The main attraction for coaches to be selected for the job his coaching Davis, who averaged 24.4 points, 10.2 rebounds and 2.9 blocks in his third season in the league. On the flip side, New Orleans would also be looking to land a coach who can get Davis’ approval or interest. Deciding who will be the team’s next Head Coach is a huge move for the franchise, as their star Davis enters the final year of his rookie contract.