The Golden State Warriors coaching tree continues to churn out head coaches. Sometimes even to the same destination.
According to a report from The Athletic, the New Orleans Pelicans are planning on hiring Willie Green for their vacant head coach position. The two sides have reportedly agreed on moving forward together, and are just hammering out some final details.
Green joined the Warriors staff for the 2016-17 as an assistant coach focusing on player development. He stayed with the Warriors for three years, where he won two championships, and was given the keys to the Summer League team.
After the Warriors loss to the Toronto Raptors in the 2019 NBA Finals, Green sought out a bigger opportunity, and found one with the Phoenix Suns, where he’s a higher-ranking assistant. He’s now in his second year with the Suns, and has an opportunity to grab another championship ring before making his head coaching debut.
Green will replace Stan Van Gundy, who spent just one year in NOLA after replacing Alvin Gentry who, you guessed it, came from the Warriors bench. When Gentry got fired he headed to Sacramento to become an assistant coach on the Kings for head coach Luke Walton who ... you can probably figure out how this sentence ends ... came from the Warriors bench.
But Green might not be the last member of the Warriors bench to find a head coaching job. Assistant coach Jarron Collins is leaving the Warriors this year after seven years, and is openly looking for a bigger opportunity; he’s interviewed for a head coach job a few times. And Mike Brown — who is coaching Nigeria’s Olympic team, and just led them to a shocking exhibition win over Team USA — is also overtly pursuing another head coaching gig.
Anyway, best of luck to Green, who spent one of his 12 NBA seasons as player in New Orleans, albeit when they were the Hornets. He has a great reputation around the league, and I’ve always gotten the sense from him that he’d excel in a head coaching gig. Hopefully he’s exactly what the Pelicans are looking for to help them build a contender around Zion Williamson.