Pelicans: 2 internal coaching replacements for Stan Van Gundy

Zion Williamson & Teresa Weatherspoon, (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Zion Williamson & Teresa Weatherspoon, (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
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New Orleans Pelicans, Zion Williamson
Assistant coach Teresa Weatherspoon of the New Orleans Pelicans talks to Zion Williamson (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

New Orleans Pelicans: Teresa Weatherspoon is going to get a head coaching job, but is it this one?

The first and most obvious choice is Teresa Weatherspoon, current assistant coach.

She’s one of the greatest WNBA players of all time and by all accounts a sharp basketball mind who not only knows the game but knows how to teach it, which is important for a team full of young guys who are all still developing.

Possibly more importantly, she has good relationships with several of the Pelicans’ key players, including Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram, Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Kira Lewis Jr. who she has known for over a decade.

If one of Stan Van Gundy’s problems was communication and relationships with his young players, then hiring someone who they already know, like and respect seems like a smart move.

Weatherspoon was hired as a player development development coach in 2019, so she has been working with these guys already. She has since been promoted to assistant coach and could bring the knowledge, relationships, toughness and accountability that the Pelicans are lacking.

She does have six years of previous head coaching experience at Louisiana Tech, but this would be her first shot at the big job in the NBA.

T Spoon is going to get a head coaching job at some point, but after David Griffin’s press conference yesterday, I don’t know if it’s going to be the Pelicans, at least not yet, as he indicated that she would be coaching the Summer League team and that it might be a bit “premature.”

Personally, I think she’s one of the best choices and am sick of teams giving every retread head coach (old white guys usually) endless opportunities instead of taking a chance with a younger, more dynamic option.

Weatherspoon is going to be a big part of the Pelicans’ bench no matter what, but it could be a different Pels’ coach who gets the top job.