Having been dismissed by the Pistons earlier this year, Stan Van Gundy went from holding two key roles with the franchise – president of basketball operations and head coach – to being out of work. Van Gundy still had one year left on the lucrative five-year contract he signed with Detroit back in 2014, so it won’t hurt him financially to sit out the 2018/19 season, but he admits he’s not sure what his next move will be.
As Rod Beard of The Detroit News details, Van Gundy recently appeared on Real Talk Basketball on The Pros Club Podcast Network, telling former assistant coach Rex Walters that he’s as “lost” as he’s ever been. Van Gundy said that when he’s been ousted from jobs in the past, he had a “pretty good idea” that he was still going to continue coaching elsewhere. This time around, he’s less certain.
“If I could get a job (for next season), I had planned to coach. Now, I really don’t know. I’m really lost right now — I don’t have an idea. My wife wants me to retire,” Van Gundy said. “I have people looking into some media things and I’m looking into some teaching opportunities in college, sports management programs and things like that.
“I want to do something, but if I’m not coaching, I don’t want to work too hard,” Van Gundy continued. “If I’m going to be grinding, then I want to coach; if I’m not going to be coaching, I want to be semi-retired, at least. I really don’t know (what I’m going to do).”
The Pistons made the decision to part ways with Van Gundy several weeks after the regular season ended, by which point two teams had already hired new head coaches and multiple other teams were nearing the end of their respective searches. That prevented him from becoming a legit candidate for other NBA coaching openings this spring.
Still, Van Gundy remains well-respected around the NBA and is a good bet to draw interest from teams that make coaching changes during or after the 2018/19 season, assuming he’s decides he’s still interested in returning to the NBA sidelines.