Stan Van Gundy has regrets about time in Detroit, but likes their mix


Detroit – Stan Van Gundy has never been much for crushing words.

His self-confidence made him a fan favorite in his four seasons as team president and head coach of the Pistons.

Fans weren’t exactly fans of his win-loss record of 152-176, and more importantly, no playoff wins. The biggest problem was Van Gundy campaigning for the playoffs using the salary cap, which made the upcoming rebuilding more difficult.

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The new regime still unravels some problems from the Van Gundy era. In his first game in Detroit as an opposing coach with the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday, Van Gundy reflected on his shortcomings.

“I regret my ending that we didn’t win enough games and didn’t do the job we were hired to do,” he said. “I know that most of them don’t like me, but I love the fans.” in Detroit and wanted to do everything I could for her. There are some feelings of regret that we didn’t make it, but I love the area, I love the people and we have had a good four years living here. “

After two years as a broadcaster, Van Gundy is in his first season with the Pelicans, starting with a talented young team of 11-14. Its core includes Brandon Ingram, Zion Williamson and Lonzo Ball, and the Pelicans have a solid future ahead of them.

The roster Van Gundy inherited in New Orleans is a bit ahead of the Pistons rebuild, which included three first-round draft picks this year, and could have another top-five pick after a slow start this year .

Each make is different, and the Pistons have decided to lure their young players, aside from Killian Hayes, who was an instant starter, into the fight that seems to pay off for them in the long run.

“Well, they are doing (rebuilding) what I understand. They put a lot of veterans out there. I was actually surprised by a retrofit team based on how old they are, ”said Van Gundy. “On their normal grid with (Mason) Plumlee and Blake Griffin and Wayne Ellington, they’re old.

“With that they put their young people in a situation where they are playing with smart, tough and experienced people, which I think helps the young players develop – so I think it was wise. ”

Van Gundy also likes what the Pistons did at the free agency with the signing by Jerami Grant, which many pundits waved because it looked like they paid too much for their centerpiece. Grant put together an impressive season with 23.3 points and 5.5 rebounds and shot 38% down 3 points.

It’s a far cry from Van Gundy’s squad build, which was much more expensive with Andre Drummond, Reggie Jackson and the eventual addition of Griffin, the only remaining player from Van Gundy’s tenure.

The new General Manager Troy Weaver has revised the roster. Only four players have returned from last season after a series of off-season trades and contract signings. Weaver has referred to it as a “recovery” but if some of the young players continue the start they started it could be a little faster than expected.

Saddiq Bey and Isaiah Stewart have reached new career highs in back-to-back games, a clear sign that some of coach Dwane Casey’s patience is paying off.

“You have been criticized for the Jerami Grant deal and it lives up to everything it did. I like the draft picks they did. I think Stewart and Bey were both really, really good and (Sekou) Doumbouya was a year ago, ”said Van Gundy. “They did a good job mixing their veterans with young people and they played well. They have a great trainer who leads them. Dwane is one of the best in the business, so players under him will develop, just like the Toronto players. “

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Twitter: @detnewsRodBeard


Dusty Kennedy