Stan Van Gundy must be wondering “what if?”
The former Detroit Pistons head coach revealed Monday his biggest disappointment about his firing as head coach is he never had the chance to work with Blake Griffin and the revamped roster for a full season. The Pistons acquired Griffin in January in a blockbuster trade with the Los Angeles Clippers, but he played just 25 games and missed the last eight due to injury. His arrival didn’t propel Detroit into the NBA playoffs, and the Pistons parted ways with Van Gundy on Monday due to their lack of success.
Van Gundy told The Detroit News’ Rod Beard hours after his departure things might have been different if he was able to work with the new-look team for another season.
Van Gundy also said he understands why the team decided to let him go. The Pistons’ record during his four-year tenure was a 152-176, and their 2016 first-round elimination from the playoffs was their only postseason appearance under his leadership.
The Griffin trade ultimately represents the Pistons’ last big gamble of the Van Gundy era. Having lost on their opening roll, the team decided against doubling down and duly changed course.
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