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Pelicans Top 5 Quotes: Stan Van Gundy Introductory Press Conference

On Tuesday, October 27, 2020, the New Orleans Pelicans introduced Stan Van Gundy as the team’s seventh head coach in franchise history. New Orleans Pelicans Governor Gayle Benson, Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations David Griffin, and General Manager Trajan Langdon joined Coach Van Gundy at a virtual press conference with local media members to give an update on the team heading into the 2020-2021 season. Here are the Top 5 quotes from Tuesday’s event:

Pelicans head coach Stan Van Gundy

Stan Van Gundy:

“I’ve worked for some great coaches in my time coming up and a guy I had great respect for, I worked for a guy named Nick Macarchuk at Canisius and at Fordham. He would say to our players all the time – and I’ve thought about this statement every day since I’ve taken this job, so for six straight days, and this is what I think it comes down to – ‘We’re going to be ready to compete anytime, anywhere, under any conditions.’ I think in some ways this is a great way to get this message across to your players. When do you have to be ready to start camp? Well, whenever they tell us…so that means get ready now. And it carries over into the season. We’ve got a back-to-back, second night, no excuse. Anytime, anywhere, under any conditions, we’re going to be ready to compete.”

Pelicans head coach Stan Van Gundy

Stan Van Gundy:

“The thing that’s most exciting to me I think when Griff and Trajan and their team started putting together this roster last year. There’s a great mix; there’s a lot of exciting young talent with the potential to grow into something great, but alongside of them, you’ve got some very productive, high-character veterans with great experience. To me, that’s the most exciting thing. As we get more specific, it’s a team that has proven they can play with great pace, there’s incredible depth on the team, we have a lot of people that can shoot the ball, and then you’ve got two of the most unique young guys in the entire league (Brandon Ingram & Zion Williamson)…”

Pelicans Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations David Griffin

David Griffin:

“We wanted to give ourselves a real opportunity to know who we were and what we needed. I think what we very quickly discovered in our interview process was that Coach Van Gundy gave us the best possible optionality. Coach Van Gundy, in his 22-year coaching career as an assistant and as a head coach—12 years as a head coach—has proven he’s a coach who’s going to win an awful lot of regular season games. Winning almost 66 percent of his games in Orlando, better than 60 percent of his games in Miami, and for his career has a winning percentage above five hundred in the playoffs, which is really, really rare, so, this is a proven winner. This is a coach who can win right now, but more importantly to us, it’s a coach that’s a teacher and a very sincere, authentic human being who’s going to build long-lasting relationships with our team.”

Pelicans general manager Trajan Langdon

Trajan Langdon:

“I think the one thing that really stood out with Stan was just his passion about the game of basketball…his open-mindedness, his curiosity about the game. I think he’s alluded to it already during this press conference, in his time out he was still looking at ways to get better as a coach…I think that curiosity and that open-mindedness has a lot of similarities with some of the great coaches that I’ve interacted with and played for over in Europe. We’re really excited to have Stan with us and to be able to learn from him in these years going forward.”

Pelicans head coach Stan Van Gundy

Stan Van Gundy:

“I think this is one of the areas that Griff and I and the entire front office sort of connected on. Culture, what it really is, it’s a body of shared values of how you want to work and how you want to do things. I think that we’re very aligned on that. The two real beliefs I have on culture are: it has very little to do with what you say, and it has everything to do with what you do on an everyday basis…You build your culture day by day, interaction by interaction, practice by practice, step by step. Over time, people will see what our organization is all about, what our leaders are all about in the organization, and then down to the players, and then the players that are around us for a while pass it on to the other players. That’s how you build a culture…there’s no overnight to that.”

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