STAN VAN GUNDY BREAKS HIS SILENCE ON FIRING & ZION WILLIAMSON
BY BRANDON MARCUS
Speaking to Stupodity podcast, Van Gundy said that his release from the Pels "wasn't mutual." The coach explained "I would say it was joint in this sense: I don't want to be somewhere they don't want me. And they didn't want me. I wasn't, at that point, going to fight to try to stay there. It wasn't a mutual decision."
These are the first comments Van Gundy has made since New Orleans went 31-41 and missed the playoffs despite some star turns by Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram, and Lonzo Ball. The season ended in a major disappointment as Williamson was injured and sat on the bench for the final games. Consequently, the organization let Van Gundy go right after the season concluded and has yet to announce his replacement.
Speaking of Williamson, Van Gundy said the star player had nothing to do with his firing despite some speculation online that his unhappiness with the coaching was the cause of termination.
"Zion's no coach killer," he said. "He's a guy who is 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." He would later add that he and Zion had a good relationship and complimented his ability and playing style.
The latest rumors have had both Charles Lee and Willie Green in contention for the head coaching position.