The NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans have hired Phoenix Suns’ assistant coach now as Willie Green New Coach.
Green had served as an NBA assistant coach for five years, starting with the Golden State Warriors and then moving on to Phoenix. The Suns season ended as they lost to Milwaukee in Tuesday’s NBA Finals.
Green is a former NBA player. He began his career when he was selected in the second round (41st overall) of the 2003 NBA draft by the Seattle Super Sonics. He was quickly traded to the Philadelphia 76ers where he played from 2003-2010. Green later played for the New Orleans Hornets (2010-2011), the Los Angeles Clippers (2012-2014), and the Orlando Magic (2014-2016), before being hired as a Warriors assistant coach in 2016. He was then a Phoenix Suns Assistant Coach from June 2019 through the 2021 season.
Now Green has been named as a first-time head coach at the age of 40, following his five years of assistant coaching experience.
His tenure in New Orleans begins with mounting pressure to build Zion Williamson’s faith that he will receive long-term satisfaction with the Pelicans, the team which two years ago, drafted him first overall.
David Griffin, Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations, stated that Willie is one of the most respected NBA assistant coaches in large part because of his authentic character and his tireless work ethic., Griffin believes that Green brings immense basketball experience and knowledge to the Pelicans with his playing and coaching experience. He also noted that Green possesses outstanding leadership abilities and a keen ability to form connections with players, staff, and fans.
The announcement received abundant praise from numerous backers throughout the NBA, as well as a whole new base of Crescent City fans and supporters. Green received widespread support, including 540-plus quote tweets after the official announcement. Many tweets were from a wide variety of NBA players. Stephen Curry, an All-Star Guard for Golden State who was coached by Green when he was a Warriors assistant for three seasons, tweeted in enthusiastic support. Quincy Pondexter, a New Orleans forward, also showed his excitement, saying that it was a great hire and that he was going to have great success in New Orleans..
The positive comments poured in from former teammates, coaches, and players throughout the NBA. There was a strong enthusiastic response to the news that Green was about to be a first-time NBA head coach. Chris Paul, a Suns guard stated that Green would be he most prepared and the most humble coach you’ve ever seen in your life. and that he was incredibly happy about the opportunity Green was receiving.…
Devin Booker, a guard, said that he was just excited for him and his family. He said that they’ve been through a lot over the last two years and spent a lot of time together. We have developed a relationship. I respect him to the fullest. The Pelicans are going to get a very good guy on their hands that will take control and lead that group.
Cam Johnson, a Phoenix second-year wing, called Green a great coach and fantastic person. He said that it was apparent with his capability, that Green would soon become a head coach and that he would be successful in that role when he received the opportunity.
Monty Williams, Phoenix’s head coach in 2019-20, was excited about Green joining the head coaching ranks. However, Williams said that he coached Willie, and played with him. He was a rookie and I was his vet with Philadelphia in the 2003-2004 season. Willie is one of my best friends. I am very happy and also unbelievably sad because he is just such a huge part of my life. He has been a very big part of our program.
On July 22, 2021, The Pelicans made it official. After a very extensive search and the identification of an impressive group of candidates, the Pelicans decided that Willie Green was the best person to lead the team into the future. The team is happy to welcome him and his family to New Orleans and are looking forward to having him as their new coach. They are excited for him to lead their team as they work towards bringing a championship to New Orleans. Willie Green will be standing on the sidelines as the eighth head coach in our franchise history when the 2021-22 season begins.