The New Orleans Pelicans have found their next coach.
On Thursday, the Pelicans announced that they have hired Willie Green to replace Stan Van Gundy as the team's head coach.
"After an extensive and collaborative search, Willie stood out among an impressive group of candidates as the best person to lead our team moving forward," said Pelicans Governor Gayle Benson. "We are very happy to welcome Willie as our new head coach and we look forward to working with him to guide our team on the court as we work towards bringing a championship to New Orleans."
Welcome Home Willie 👏- New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) July 22, 2021
The new head coach of the New Orleans Pelicans:
Story: https://t.co/VmtxthpEUk pic.twitter.com/y0LAyuGWAv
The No. 41 pick in the 2003 NBA Draft, Green played 12 seasons in the NBA. He started his career with the Philadelphia 76ers before spending time with the New Orleans Hornets, Atlanta Hawks, LA Clippers and Orlando Magic.
Green began coaching in 2016 when he joined the Golden State Warriors as an assistant coach. He was a part of the Warriors coaching staff that won back-to-back championships in 2017 and 2018. He then joined the Phoenix Suns as an assistant coach in 2019.
"Willie has established himself as one of the most respected assistant coaches in the NBA. In large part, this is due to a tireless work ethic and authenticity of character," said Pelicans Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations David Griffin.
"He brings a vast amount of basketball knowledge and experience to our team as both a coach and former player, along with exceptional leadership qualities and an innate ability to connect with players, staff and fans alike. We could not be more excited to welcome Willie and his family to New Orleans."
The Pelicans finished the 2020-21 season with a 31-41 record, putting them on the outside looking in of the Play-In Tournament. They have one of the league's most exciting young cores, featuring Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram.
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