DETROIT PISTONS FIRE STAN VAN GUNDY, ANNOUNCE CHANGES IN BASKETBALL OPERATIONS
Stan Van Gundy to Be Replaced as Head Coach and President of Basketball Operations
The Detroit Pistons announced today that Stan Van Gundy will not return as the team’s President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach. The search process for new basketball leadership, including a new head of Basketball Operations and a new Head Coach, will start immediately
“We have decided that this change is necessary to take our basketball organization to the next level,” said Pistons owner Tom Gores. “This was a very difficult decision and we did not come to it lightly. I am grateful to Stan for everything he’s done for the Pistons and for the City of Detroit. He rebuilt the culture of our basketball team, re-instilled a winning attitude and work ethic, and took us to the playoffs two years ago. He went all-in from day one to positively impact this franchise and this community.
“But over the past two seasons our team has not progressed, and we decided that a change is necessary to regain our momentum,” Mr. Gores said, emphasizing that Mr. Van Gundy, who has a year remaining on his contract, wanted to return.
“Stan is a competitor and he wanted to finish the job,” Mr. Gores said. “He retooled a roster that we think can be very competitive in the East. I know he’s disappointed, and that he cares deeply about his players, his staff, this organization and this city. He’s also a professional who will make sure this is a seamless transition, and someone I hope will be a friend and adviser to me long after this transition is completed.
“I have nothing but respect and love for Stan. I think he is a great coach and a great man, and his presence and leadership helped move this franchise forward,” Mr. Gores said. “Although we did not get the success both of us wanted, his efforts and leadership have put the franchise in better shape today than when he came on board.”
Mr. Van Gundy, who was named president of basketball operations and head coach on May 14, 2014, tallied a regular-season record of 152-176 (.463) in four seasons with the Pistons. He posted a 44-38 (.536) regular-season record in 2015-16 and led the club to its first postseason appearance since the 2008-09 season. As president of basketball operations, Van Gundy and general manager Jeff Bower initiated the re-signing of Andre Drummond, selected first round draft picks Stanley Johnson, Henry Ellenson and Luke Kennard and made notable trade acquisitions for Blake Griffin, Reggie Jackson, Marcus Morris, Tobias Harris and Avery Bradley.