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NBA

Stan Van Gundy, Steve Nash and Tyronn Lue headline list of new head coaches entering the 2020-21 NBA season

There are a number of NBA teams that will enter the 2020-21 season with a new head coach.

Nine, to be exact.

As of Nov. 11, all nine of the vacancies have filled. Here's who has been hired and what experience they bring with them to their new teams.

Brooklyn Nets

Out: Kenny Atkinson

In: Steve Nash

The Nets parted ways with Atkinson a few games before the 2019-20 season was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic. After Jacque Vaughn finished the season as Brooklyn's head coach, the team hired Nash to be their next head coach, signing him to a reported four-year contract.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, former NBA All-Star Amar'e Stoudemire will join Nash's coaching staff in Brooklyn.

While this will be Nash's first time coaching in the NBA, he played 18 seasons with the Dallas Mavericks, Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Lakers, winning two MVP awards and earning seven All-NBA selections along the way. He's widely regarded as being one of the greatest point guards of all-time.

Nash has a relationship with both Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant.

New York Knicks

Out: David Fizdale

In: Tom Thibodeau

The Knicks will be Thibodeau's third team in six seasons.

Following stops with the Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Timberwolves, Thibodeau takes over a Knicks team that hasn't made the playoffs in seven consecutive seasons. The Knicks have undergone quite a lot of change in the offseason in the hopes of snapping that streak, hiring Thibodeau to be their head coach and Leon Rose, with whom Thibodeau reportedly has a close relationship with, to be their president.

Thibodeau is known as a defensive-minded coach. He has a 352-246 record as a head coach, ranking him 51st all-time in wins. He replaces Fizdale, who was fired 22 games into the 2019-20 season, and Mike Miller, who was named New York's interim head coach.

Chicago Bulls

Out: Jim Boylen

In: Billy Donovan

After finishing third in Coach of the Year voting this season, Donovan and the Oklahoma City Thunder mutually agreed to part ways. It didn't take him long to find his next team, even if the Bulls job "came out of left field."

While the Bulls finished this season with a 22-43 record, they have a lot of young talent in Zach LaVine, Lauri Markkanen, Coby White and Wendell Carter Jr. They will look to add to that talent with the No. 4 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.

Prior to joining the Thunder in 2015, Donovan coached at the collegiate level at the University of Florida.

New Orleans Pelicans

Out: Alvin Gentry

In: Stan Van Gundy

The Pelicans dismissed Gentry following a disappointing showing in the season restart that saw New Orleans go 2-6 in its seeding games and miss the playoffs for the fourth time in five seasons.

Though Van Gundy hasn't coached since 2017-18, he's one of the winningest coaches in NBA history with 523 wins to his name, the 31st-most all-time. His best years came with the Magic in the late 2000s, when he led Orlando to the Finals for only the second time in franchise history.

Van Gundy was ahead of his time, building a four-out offence around Dwight Howard, who was the most dominant centre in the league at the time.

Van Gundy will have plenty to work with in New Orleans. While the Pelicans are young, they have two of the best prospects in the league in Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram, as well as proven veterans in Jrue Holiday and J.J. Redick.

Indiana Pacers

Out: Nate McMillan

In: Nate Bjorkgren

One of the biggest surprises this offseason, the Pacers parted ways with McMillan not long after the two sides agreed to a contract extension.

McMillan has been replaced by Bjorkgren, who spent the last couple of seasons as an assistant coach under Nick Nurse on the Toronto Raptors.

Bjorkgren is the only person in league history to win a championship as an assistant coach in both the NBA and D-League. He has head coaching experience in the D-League but not the NBA.

LA Clippers

Out: Doc Rivers

In: Tyronn Lue

In 2015-16, the Cleveland Cavaliers promoted Lue from assistant coach to head coach in the hopes of him leading the franchise to their first-ever title.

The Clippers are hoping for the exact same after parting ways with Rivers.

Lue replaces Rivers as head coach of the Clippers following a shocking end to the 2019-20, one that saw them blow a 3-1 lead to the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Semifinals. They enter next season as one of the title favourites off of the strength of their one-two punch in Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.

Lue has experience coaching All-NBA level talent in LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love.

Philadelphia 76ers

Out: Brett Brown

In: Doc Rivers

Rivers takes over for Brown, who had been the head coach of the 76ers since the "Trust The Process" years.

Unusual as Philadelphia's roster is, Rivers has experience coaching a variety of different players in his career, having coached dominant point guards in Rajon Rondo and Chris Paul, dominant wings in Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, and dominant bigs in Kevin Garnett, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan.

Rivers looks to get the 76ers back on track after a season that started with high expectations and ended with a first-round sweep.

Rivers ranks 11th on the NBA's all-time coaching wins list with 943 wins.

Houston Rockets

Out: Mike D'Antoni

In: Stephen Silas

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Silas is finalizing a deal to be Houston's next head coach.

The son of basketball legend Paul Silas, Stephen Silas has been an assistant coach or a scout in the NBA since 1999. He started his career as a scout on the Charlotte Hornets and was most recently an assistant coach under Rick Carlisle on the Dallas Mavericks.

As Wojnarowski noted, Silas has worked with some of the league's best guards, including Stephen Curry, Kemba Walker and Luka Doncic.

Silas has been interviewed for a number of head coaching jobs in recent years.

Oklahoma City Thunder

Out: Billy Donovan

In: Mark Daigneault

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Thunder are promoting Daigneault to become their next head coach.

Daigneault has been a part of the Thunder franchise since 2014. He was first the head coach of the Oklahoma City Blue, the Thunder's G League affiliate, leading them to a 143-107 record and four playoff appearances over five seasons. He was then an assistant coach on the Thunder under Donovan last season.

Daigneault also has experience at the collegiate level, serving as an assistant coach at the University of Florida.

At the age of 35, Daigneault is the second-youngest head coach currently in the NBA.

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