Stan Van Gundy said he was willing to just coach, owner wanted new direction
Stan Van Gundy is out as the coach and GM in Detroit.
Most of the talk around the league in the run-up to that was Van Gundy was going to lose is front office power (to Arn Tellem, although that part turns out not to be true) and that if he was out as GM Van Gundy wouldn’t want to stick around as the coach.
That’s not true either, Van Gundy told Rod Beard of the Detroit News.
Interesting nugget: SVG tells me: "When it came down to this, I was perfectly willing to only go in one role and to give up the front office and go into (just) coaching. I didn’t fight to hang on to that at all. I was more than willing to just move over into the (coaching) role."— Rod Beard (@detnewsRodBeard) May 8, 2018
SVG: "I’m disappointed that I don’t get to go a full year and coach them with Blake and hopefully with better health. To me, that was the most disappointing thing from a coaching standpoint. I really wanted to see that group together and wanted the opportunity to coach them."— Rod Beard (@detnewsRodBeard) May 8, 2018
Bringing in Griffin wasn’t just a “Van Gundy trying to save his job” play, it was backed by upper management and even pushed by them. Why? The Pistons moved into a new downtown building in Detroit this year (with the Red Wings) and were not selling it out, as is expected with a new building. Griffin, for all his flaws on the court, is a big name that sells tickets.
The new coach will have some interesting pieces — Griffin, Andre Drummond, Reggie Jackson — if they can just stay healthy. As for Van Gundy, he will be just fine. Whether he decides to come back to coaching or not.