The New Orleans Pelicans officially named Willie Green as their next head coach Thursday.
Green is falling off a spell as an assistant with the Phoenix Suns, who just made a rush to the NBA Finals, which deferred the circumstance of the Pelicans’ declaration.
“After an extensive and collaborative search, Willie stood out among an impressive group of candidates as the best person to lead our team moving forward,” Pelicans governor Gayle Benson said in a statement. “We are very happy to welcome Willie as our new head coach and we look forward to working with him to guide our team on the court as we work towards bringing a championship to New Orleans.”
Pelicans leader VP of ball operations David Griffin called Green, a 12-year NBA veteran, one of the “most respected assistant coaches in the NBA.”
“He brings a vast amount of basketball knowledge and experience to our team as both a coach and former player, along with exceptional leadership qualities and an innate ability to connect with players, staff and fans alike,” Griffin said in a statement.
Green burned through three seasons as a partner with the Golden State Warriors prior to joining Phoenix.
“I want to thank Mrs. Benson, David Griffin, and the entire Pelicans organization for having faith in me to lead this talented group of players moving forward,” Green said. “It’s a blessing and an honor to get this opportunity in a special place like New Orleans. I look forward to getting to work and immersing myself and my family into the local community.”
As a player, Green made the end of the season games in seven of his 12 seasons, remembering the solitary year for New Orleans (2010-11), one of only seven season finisher trips the group has made in establishment history.
That season, Green made it in a group trained by Monty Williams and drove by point watch Chris Paul. Presently the Pelicans are employing Green away from a Suns group drove by Williams and Paul.
Green replaces Stan Van Gundy, who commonly consented to leave the Pelicans after only one season. The Pelicans went 31-41 last season, a frustrating outcome after the season began with season finisher yearnings. Eventually, New Orleans didn’t make the Western Conference play-in.
At 39, Green turns into the third-youngest coach in the NBA behind Oklahoma City’s Mark Daigneault and Memphis’ Taylor Jenkins.