Detroit Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy faces uncertain future after missing playoffs
NBA.com staff reports
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Stan Van Gundy realizes the clock is ticking on his tenure in Detroit. With one year remaining on the deal he signed in 2014 to run the basketball operations and coach the team, this season was supposed to include a turning point for the organization. But it never happened. An injury to point guard Reggie Jackson set the tone for an uneven season that was supposed to turn around later with a trade for All-Star forward Blake Griffin.
Now that the finish line is near, and the elimination from playoff competition is complete, Van Gundy and the Pistons are left to ponder the possibilities of what could have been and what could be in the future, as Vince Ellis of the Free Press details. Whatever happens, whatever owner Tom Gores decides, Van Gundy seems resolute about his future beyond basketball if his time with the Pistons, who play at Memphis today (3:30 ET, NBA TV), is at its end:
Van Gundy has been consistent; he will be OK with whatever Gores decides. He has thought a lot about life after basketball, and at the age of 58, having raised four kids to adulthood, he’s curious about the next stage of his life.
But he does have a strong sense of loyalty to the assistant coaches and front-office staff he brought to the Pistons. Most staff members’ contracts are up June 30.
Gores probably wants to hear a solid plan for the future and may ask for adjustments that may or may not include the current staff. Van Gundy’s commitment to that staff could perhaps force a change.
One thing is certain: Van Gundy won’t be searching for a new team whenever his Pistons’ tenure ends.
“If I were in my second year as an NBA coach and building my career, had young kids and didn’t have financial security (I might be worried), but none of those things are true,” Van Gundy said last month when addressing his job security. “I’ve been very, very fortunate. I don’t need to work another day in my life. I have all the security I need. This is all about what’s best for the organization.
“I have no apprehension at all. If I’m not here next year, I’m not chasing jobs anywhere else. You can look for me on my lake in the summer (in Michigan) and my porch in Florida in the winter.”
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