Stan Van Gundy backs Fred Vinson as next Pelicans head coach

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While his input will carry no weight in the matter, Stan Van Gundy shared his thoughts on who the Pelicans should next hire as the team’s head coach. In his first interview since being fired as head coach in New Orleans, Van Gundy spoke to Stutgotz on the Le Batard & Friends – STUpodity podcast.

After discussing his departure from the franchise, which he called a surprise, while also defending Zion Williamson, Van Gundy discussed who he thought should take over as the next head coach.

“I think, quite honestly, if it were me,” Van Gundy said, “I’d stay in-house and go with, like, Fred Vinson because I worry about these young guys who are now on their third coach in three years. For guys like Ingram, who came from L.A., his fourth coach in four years. I think that’s hard for anybody if the system and everything, the terminology, is changing a lot but especially for young guys.

“If you stick with a guy like Fred Vinson, he’s been here even before Alvin Gentry. He was with me so he knows what the players went through then. He doesn’t have to re-do everything. He can stay with some stuff that is familiar to guys to ease the transition while at the same time putting his own imprint on the team.”

Vinson is not only one of the longest-tenured staff members with the Pelicans, he’s also one of the most respected amongst the players. His work with Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball’s jump shots led to both publicly acknowledging him. He also spent time working with Vinson last season, which Van Gundy discussed during the podcast as well.

While Vinson was reportedly going to receive an interview for the position, he was not mentioned as one of the finalists for the job in the latest reports.

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