It does not appear that Anthony Davis is going to sit out games in a bid to force the New Orleans Pelicans to trade him.
Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry said he has spoken to Davis on Monday after news of his trade demand went public, and he said his star center has assured him that he intends to play out the remainder of the season.
Alvin Gentry says there will be a statement later on issued by the team.
Says he spoke to AD this morning and says Davis told him he plans on playing out this season.
— Andrew Lopez (@_Andrew_Lopez) January 28, 2019
Gentry says AD came in this morning and got treatment and a workout in.
“He’s under contract. He’s a professional. … he’s made it clear he wants to play.”
— Andrew Lopez (@_Andrew_Lopez) January 28, 2019
This would seem to give the Pelicans more incentive to wait until the offseason to move Davis. The player does want out, but not urgently enough that he looks set to create a distraction. That news may frustrate one potential leading suitor that would’ve hoped to get this done quickly before potential rivals could position themselves for a deal.
The NBA is a “get wins or get out” enterprise. The business can be callous at times, spurning head coaches who have seemingly earned job security — a lesson Dwane Casey learned the hard way in May. It’s still hard to imagine Casey on the Pistons’ sideline.
It may seem ridiculous to already be speculating about which coaches could be fired this season, but the 2018-19 season is practically upon us, and before we know it, some team will be searching for a new leader. With the preseason already underway, here are 10 coaches on the hot seat.
10. Alvin Gentry, Pelicans
You could argue Anthony Davis’ impressive late-season surge saved Gentry’s job last season. The Pelicans won their first playoff series in the Davis era — an encouraging sign — but the Warriors quickly vanquished New Orleans’ momentum. This seems to be a pivotal moment for the franchise. The Pelicans didn’t have much spending money this summer, as the squad had already dished out hefty contracts to players like E’Twaun Moore, Alexis Ajinca, and Omer Asik. The team allowed DeMarcus Cousins to bolt and signed bargain-basement assets Jahlil Okafor and Elfrid Payton, in addition to Julius Randle. The Pelicans are reliant on Davis sustaining MVP-level production; if he and Jrue Holiday crash back to earth early this season, however, GM Dell Demps — left with little flexibility to add another impact player — may opt to make a coaching change.
Alvin Gentry is standing up for his star player in the wake of whispers that he may have been partially responsible for DeMarcus Cousins’ departure.
Addressing the media on Monday, the New Orleans Pelicans coach responded to recent reports suggesting Anthony Davis did not want Cousins back. Gentry said that it “couldn’t be further from the truth,” per NOLA.com’s Will Guillory.
Alvin Gentry: Somebody said Anthony Davis didn't want DeMarcus Cousins back, and that couldn't be further from the truth
— Will Guillory (@WillGuillory) July 9, 2018
After Cousins agreed to sign with the Western Conference rival Golden State Warriors last week, rumblings indeed emerged that Davis liked the Pelicans’ style of play (among other things) without his fellow All-Star big man.
Gentry, who has coached Davis for the last three seasons, does have incentive to come out and defend the honor of his remaining superstar. But if anybody would know the truth about the Davis-Cousins dynamic, it’s probably Gentry.
The New Orleans Pelicans took it to the Golden State Warriors in Game 3 of their playoff series on Friday night with a 119-100 win.
The Pelicans had a 25-point lead late in the third and as much as a 26-point lead late in the fourth. Despite that, Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry said he was “never comfortable” because of how “scary” the Warriors are.
“Because I was on the Warriors’ bench, it made it scary for tonight. … They’re just a scary team. You’re never comfortable,” Gentry said after the game, via the San Francisco Chronicle’s Connor Letourneau.
Gentry would know considering he was an assistant coach for the Warriors in 2014-2015, a year in which they went 67-15 and won the NBA Finals. And he’s absolutely right — the Warriors are a team that can put together a run like few others. They can erase a 15-point deficit in no time or take a 1-point game and turn it into a double-digit margin. That really explains why Anthony Davis played 41 minutes in a game the Pelicans seemed to have under control for the second half.
Alvin Gentry began his post game press conference after the New Orleans Pelicans swept the Portland Trail Blazers by thanking Kobe Bryant and his shoes.
With less than a minute remaining in regulation of Saturday’s game, Jrue Holiday was ruled to have stepped out of bounds with New Orleans up by four points. After the officials reviewed the play, it was determined Holiday’s heels did not touch the baseline and the Pelicans regained possession.
— 6'7-Eleven Inches (@LeBandz_James) April 21, 2018
Holiday hit a jumper a few seconds later to put the Pelicans up 129-123 with 40 seconds to go in the fourth quarter.
After the game, Gentry gave a shoutout to Kobe Bryant and credit to the Kobe 1 shoes Holiday was wearing for him not stepping out of bounds at a crucial juncture in Game 4.
— NBA TV (@NBATV) April 22, 2018
Kobe had a few laughs at Gentry’s comments.
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) April 22, 2018
Next up for the Pelicans could be a meeting with the Warriors, who swept the Pelicans in the first round of the playoffs in 2015. Anthony Davis seems eager for another shot at the reigning champions.
The 2016-17 NBA season was a time of peace on earth and goodwill towards head coaches — not a single one was fired, marking the first time that had happened since at least Millard Fillmore’s presidency. But the same cannot be said about the 2017-18 campaign, as Earl Watson and David Fizdale have already walked the plank less than two months in. Here are six more coaches whose seats are rapidly warming and could be in danger of following suit.
Doc Rivers, LA Clippers
A recent report suggested that Medicial Practicioner Rivers is likely safe for this season, citing the rash of injuries that have crippled his team in recent weeks. But the ice still seems to thinning underneath him with the Clippers relapsing into their futility of decades past. Their lack of effort and creativity made for a difficult watch even when Blake Griffin was still healthy, and Rivers’ rotations have largely resembled a dart throw otherwise. Welcome to the starting lineup, CJ Williams! Jawun Evans, come on down! And what’s more is that there’s hardly been a Clipper who has improved their play this season despite the increased opportunity with all the injuries and the exit of Chris Paul … except for maybe Lou Williams and Doc’s own son Austin. Now to be fair, the loss of the team’s best offensive player in Griffin and their best defensive player in Patrick Beverley will probably move Lord Steve Ballmer to show mercy on Rivers. But enthusiasm is quickly waning as “What’s up, Doc?” becomes more of a cry of exasperation than a Bugs Bunny catchphrase.
Mike Budenholzer, Atlanta Hawks
New Orleans Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry believes in the Big Baller way.
Before his team played the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday, Gentry paid rookie guard Lonzo Ball the ultimate compliment by saying that he couldn’t see how Ball could possibly fail, per Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times.
Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry says Lonzo Ball is an "old soul" and "a coach's dream." Adds: "I don't see how he could possibly fail."
— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) October 23, 2017
While Gentry’s players seem much less enthused by the rookie, it’s certainly high praise from somebody who has coached in the NBA for decades and been around elite point guards such as Steve Nash, Chris Paul, and Stephen Curry. Ball has been drawing rave reviews from other basketball higher-ups as well, and it’s becoming obvious that he is much more than just empty hype.