The New Orleans Pelicans reportedly will have a new head coach, and there's a Warriors connection.
The Athletic's Shams Charania reported Tuesday that the Pelicans are planning to hire Willie Green as their new head coach. Green, a 12-year veteran, has spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach for the Phoenix Suns. He spent the previous three seasons before that as an assistant coach for Golden State.
Green, 39, takes over for Stan Van Gundy, who was fired in June after just one season. Green played for New Orleans during the 2010-11 season when the club was still named the Hornets. He becomes the third-youngest head coach in the NBA behind the Oklahoma City Thunder's Mark Daigneault (35) and the Memphis Grizzlies' Taylor Jenkins (36).
An assistant coach on Steve Kerr's staff from 2016-17 through 2018-19, Green contributed to three straight runs to the NBA Finals by the Warriors, the first two of which culminated in back-to-back championships. From very early on in Green's tenure with Golden State, Kerr knew he was head-coach material.
Now taking over a Pelicans squad led by young stars Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram, Green will go head-to-head against Kerr and the Warriors multiple times next season.