For veteran center Andre Drummond, former Detroit Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy is a good coach. However, he was not the right coach for the players he had when the team hired him in 2014.
The Pistons relieved Van Gundy of his duties as the team’s coach and president of basketball operations last summer for his inability to make Detroit a championship contender. He was eventually replaced by 2018 Coach of the Year Dwane Casey, who was fired by the Toronto Raptors.
In an interview with Chris Nelsen of the Detroit Free Press, Drummond had noting but good words to say for Van Gundy despite the little success they had under him. The 25-year-old big man then defended his former coach and said he could have been a “very good” coach for the team if he had the right players.
“Our guys probably weren’t the best fit for him,” Drummond said. “I think if he had an older team, he’d be very good. His style of play is more for like the Spurs, an older team that’s more advanced.”
Van Gundy coached the Pistons for four seasons, leading them to only one postseason berth in 2016. They were swept by the eventual champion Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round of the playoffs that year.
As the Pistons president, Van Gundy wasn’t successful either. They struggled to get a decent talent in the draft during his tenure, with the exception of Luke Kennard who was drafted 12th overall back in 2017. They were the ones who drafted Spencer Dinwiddie back in 2014, only to trade him away two years later.
Van Gundy has been seen working as a guest analyst in multiple shows of ESPN, while the Raptors made the playoffs in Casey’s first year as coach — though they were swept by the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks in the first round.