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Stan Van Gundy: New Orleans Pelicans part ways with coach after one season

New Orleans Pelicans and Stan Van Gundy mutually agree to part ways after one season; Pelicans finished 2020/21 season with 31-41 record, missing playoffs for third straight season

New Orleans Pelicans head coach Stan Van Gundy calls out from the bench in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the New York Knicks in New Orleans, Wednesday, April 14, 2021. The Knicks won 116-106. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Image: Stan Van Gundy will leave the New Orleans Pelicans after one year in charge

Stan Van Gundy is out as the New Orleans Pelicans coach after just one season with the franchise, the team announced Wednesday.

The Pelicans and Van Gundy mutually agreed to part ways, per the team's release.

Per The Athletic, Pelicans assistant Teresa Weatherspoon is a "serious candidate" to be the next head coach. Weatherspoon, a former WNBA star and later the women's head coach at her alma mater, Louisiana Tech, was named an assistant coach with the Pelicans in November.

With Van Gundy's departure, former top overall pick Zion Williamson will be looking at his third different head coach in as many NBA seasons in 2021-22.

The Pelicans won four of their first six games to start the 2020/21 season before failing to climb over .500 for the remainder of the campaign and ending with a 31-41 record.

"On behalf of Mrs. Gayle Benson and the Pelicans organization, I would like to thank Stan for the integrity and professionalism that he demonstrated during his time in New Orleans, as well as the commitment and work ethic he brought to our team," said David Griffin, Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations.

"This was a difficult decision as I have tremendous respect for Stan both personally and professionally, but we agreed it is in the best interest of our team to move forward in a different direction. We wish Stan, Kim and their family all the best in the future."

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Van Gundy, 61, had assumed the head coaching position two months after the team fired Alvin Gentry in August.

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