Despite the difficulties last season brought by COVID-19, Stan Van Gundy is out as coach of the New Orleans Pelicans, sources told ESPN.
After finishing the season with a disappointing 31-41 record, Van Gundy expressed to reporters how tough the season was because of COVID-19 protocols.
“It was a hard year personally, because when I took the job, we didn’t know when training camp was going to start or any of that stuff,” Van Gundy said. “I had not really given a ton of thought to condensed training camp, condensed season, COVID protocols. That stuff was really, really difficult from a personal standpoint. For me, to go into Detroit and have my kids nearby, and I can’t see them. That kind of stuff. Having to limit people being able to come and visit us and things like that. On a personal level, it was difficult.”
New Orleans had been hopeful that Van Gundy would establish a defensive presence, but the results were far from that. The Pelicans finished 23rd in defensive rating (113.3) and 25th in opponent 3-point percentage (38.0).
The Pelicans did improve from 29th in defensive rating (116.3) before the All-Star break to seventh (110.4) after, but the team’s offensive rating went the same way. The Pelicans were sixth (115.6) before the break and 21st after (110.4).