When the New Orleans Pelicans fired Stan Van Gundy after the season, there was some speculation that Zion Williamson, or perhaps his family, was behind it.
Van Gundy says don’t buy it.
He points to a conflict with New Orleans’ exec David Griffin, that they looked at coaching “totally different” and also says that it’s unfair to place blame on players when coaches are fired.
But in Williamson’s case he went further:
“I know this, regardless of what happened in that regard, Zion’s no coach killer. He’s a guy that’s gonna help you win a lot of games. He plays the game the right way. One of the things I’ll miss is the opportunity to continue to coach him because he’s so unique in the way that he plays the game and the things that he can do that it really gets your mind spinning as a coach and you have a lot of possibilities in what you can do with him. That was fun to explore. So, I’m happy with what we did with Zion. I think we helped him. How anyone else felt about that would be up to them.”
That’s a pretty decent attitude really.
Van Gundy will be coaching again if he wants to. He’s widely respected. And of course if he doesn’t, he has long had a back-up option - well, on second thought, that’s a funny joke, but it’s a little uncouth. So let’s just wish him well.