Meet the Pelicans Top Coaching Candidates
It seems like forever ago that the New Orleans Pelicans relieved Alvin Gentry of his head coaching duties at the conclusion of the NBA Bubble restart when the Pels missed out on the playoffs. David Griffin has been taking his sweet time making a decision as to who will take over as the head coach to attempt to guide this ship back to the playoffs.
While we all wait patiently there are a couple of names that we've heard about including Stan Van Gundy, Will Weaver, and Jamahl Mosley.
Let's take a closer look at what each of these men brings to the table and identify exactly who they are.
STAN VAN GUNDY
Okay, this one you should know but in case you don't, he's the longest-tenured coach out of all four candidates. Stan Van's NBA coaching journey began in 1995 at the tender age of 36 as he was an assistant with the Miami Heat under Pat Riley. His first head coaching gig came in 2003 when he got the opportunity to take over as the head man for the Heat. He spent two and a half seasons there compiling a 112-73 record and from there he stuck in the state of Florida but moved to Orlando to coach the Magic.
This stop put Van Gundy on the map as he had his most successful seasons with the Magic. He was an astonishing 259-135 including a trip to the NBA Finals in 2008-2009 where they lost to Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers in five games.
His most recent head coaching stint came in the Motor City aka Detriot with the Pistons but this stop probably leaves NBA/Pelicans fans with a bad taste in their mouths. Stan struggled to find consistency with that bunch as he finished over .500 only once in his tenure and compiled a 152-176 record.
Stan Van has been in the broadcast booth the last several years for TNT and he's done a good job in that capacity and he's 61-years-old.
He wasn't high on my list of candidates but then we came across one piece of information that's helped change my tune and it's what current Pelican sharp-shooter JJ Redick had to say about him. “I’m not sure there’s anyone in the NBA world I have more respect for.” Said Redick in 2016 and he would go onto say, "I don’t know that I’ve ever been around any coach, and I’ve played for great coaches and play for a great coach right now, but I don’t know if I’ve ever been around any coach who holds himself so accountable,” This was according to Nola.com from an old episode of his podcast "The Chronicles of Redick"
This is a young basketball team with the Pelicans, Alvin Gentry didn't provide a ton of structure within his coaching style but with Van Gundy I'd think things would be a bit different. “As a coach, if you’re going to be really demanding and hold players accountable, which we try to do, then you have to hold yourself accountable,” Said Van Gundy. “If you don’t, then it’s not holding people accountable. Then it’s just blaming people.”
And of course, if he does become the next head coach of the Pelicans maybe some players will pick up where Dwight Howard left off by impersonating him.
(Via NBS Video)
Who is Will Weaver? He's the current head coach of the Sydney Kings in the NBL in Australia. There are some ties here to New Orleans as he was previously with the Brooklyn Nets organization working with Pelican's current general manager Trajan Langdon.
In addition, New Orleans picked Didi Louzada with their 35th overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft and sent him to play in the NBL mainly due to the connection Langdon has with Weaver and how much he trusts him. Trust is a major factor when making a decision as large as deciding who will be your next head coach. He may not get the head coaching job but it seems like he's at least in the conversation or maybe even as an assistant coach as well.
Finally, Mosley is an assistant coach with the Dallas Mavericks and has served in that role since 2014. He began his coaching career in 2006 with the Denver Nuggets as an assistant/player developer and was one of the guys who worked a lot with Carmelo Anthony in his better years with the Nuggets as he was a 3x All-Star.
Mosley then moved onto Cleveland in 2010 and this is where the connection to David Griffin comes into play. He worked under the Griffin regime in Cleveland until 2014 as an assistant.
ESPN's NBA Insider Tim McMahon had this to say when discussing how good Jamahl Mosley is with players. “I definitely think fits the mold as far as being someone who is extremely popular with players, is great at developing relationships with players and has some history with David Griffin, that’s Jamahl Mosley, the assistant with Dallas. He is Luka’s go-to guy. He is the Mavericks defensive coordinator, which is, you know, his job in that role is to make chicken salad out of chicken feathers."
Again, sounds like a solid candidate that if he doesn't get the job at least be in consideration for an assistant coach position with the intention of taking over in the future.