What is going to be different with the Pelicans’ latest hire at the head coach position? Because in each of the past two offseasons, David Griffin happily shared his belief in the New Orleans Pelican’s executive vice president of basketball operations, committing the dollars and also affirmations to underscore that faith.
In 2019, the vice president of basketball operations championed Alvin Gentry as “specifically the ideal coach at the right time for this franchise” when extending Gentry’s agreement right into the 2020-21 season. Griffin discharged him following the ensuing period.
Last October, after greater than two months of browsing, Griffin utilized a multi-year contract to tempt Stan Van Gundy out of the TNT program booth, hailing him as “one of the most accomplished leaders and authentic humans in the NBA.” Yet, simply eight months later, Van Gundy is gone, and also Griffin is once more looking for stability at the most critical position on the bench. So, in 2 years, Griffin made two choices with firm conviction. Unfortunately, neither of them panned out.
With everything that has occurred in two seasons under Griffin’s watch, he should know what type of head coach he needs to hire. The mistakes of the past two seasons should be viewed as a learning lesson for Griffin. It was almost like Griffin ignored the traits that many younger players in the league have when building a championship team.
Especially a player that is on the level of Zion Williamson. A team must have a head coach that can somehow reach the mindset of today’s current player. Not saying that former players make the best hires as a head coach, but the route has had its gems take hold in the league. A few names that come to mind are Steve Kerr and Doc Rivers. Both coaches have performed at the highest level during their playing days in the league and have successfully transitioned to becoming elite-level head coaches.
Rivers and Kerr have a philosophy that enables players to buy into their system. The results of doing that have paid off. There’s a total of four world championships between Rivers and Kerr. Whatever route Griffin decides to take, the new head coach must reach, teach, develop, and elevate the Pelicans to becoming an upper-echelon franchise.
On the positive side, it was good that Griffin moved swiftly to make a change before it was too late. It made no sense for Griffin to hire Van Gundy as a placeholder, only to move on from him after the Pelicans reach only a certain level of growth. The Pelicans have the talent to become at least a top-five seed in the Western Conference. But before that can happen, the house needs to get in order first.
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Photo courtesy of the Associated Press.