Pelicans officially name Willie Green head coach

FILE - Phoenix Suns assistant coach Willie Green is shown during the second half of an NBA...
FILE - Phoenix Suns assistant coach Willie Green is shown during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Denver, in this Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019, file photo. A person familiar with the situation says the New Orleans Pelicans are negotiating with Suns assistant Willie Green about taking over as head coach but no deal is in place and discussions could extend beyond the NBA Finals. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because talks were ongoing and the Pelicans have not publicly discussed coaching candidates. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)(David Zalubowski | AP)
Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 2:32 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - After waiting for Willie Green to fulfill his duties as Suns assistant coach, the Pelicans officially named him head coach on Thursday.

Green was part of a Phoenix staff under head coach Monty Williams that turned a team that missed the playoffs a year ago into the Western Conference Champions. Notably, they also helped young stars in the making like Devin Booker and DeAndre Ayton turn their winning potential into actual wins.

The goal is that Green, who will become the third-youngest head coach in the NBA at 39-years old, can teach the Pelicans’ young stars Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson to do the same.

Given his age, Green is on the opposite side of the spectrum from the Pelicans’ last two head coaches. Both Alvin Gentry and Stan Van Gundy were both north of 60-years old and well-established when they coached in New Orleans. Green, on the other hand, will be a first-time head coach, not that that is any real indication on whether or not he’ll success.

However, a younger coach, who was also recently a former NBA player from 2003-15, does bring more potential to connect with a young roster.

Green also brings championship experience to the Pelicans. He began as an assistant in Golden State and was an assistant on Steve Kerr’s staff that won NBA Titles in 2017 and 2018. Now seeing first-hand what it takes to do that with the Suns as well, the Pelicans hope Green is the right man for the job to get them into the postseason sooner than later.

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