DETROIT — The Detroit Pistons have announced that Stan Van Gundy’s time as head coach and President of Basketball Operations is over.
“We have decided that this change is necessary to take our basketball organization to the next level,” said Pistons owner Tom Gores in a press release. “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.
Van Gundy was hired in May 2014 and posted a 152-176 record. In 2015-2016, the team made the playoffs.
“Stan is a competitor and he wanted to finish the job,” Gores said in the release. “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,” Gores said in the statement. “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.”
Van Gundy was also known for adopting the “last dog in the shelter” in Harbor Springs, Michigan, in May 2017.