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.
New Orleans Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry may just be raising the boombox over his head for point guard Jrue Holiday this summer.
In an appearance on SiriusXM NBA Radio on Tuesday, Gentry said that re-signing Holiday will be “a number one priority” for the Pelicans.
.@PelicansNBA HC Alvin Gentry "re-signing Jrue Holiday is a number one priority"
— SiriusXM NBA Radio (@SiriusXMNBA) May 16, 2017
Holiday, 26, averaged 15.4 points and 7.3 assists per game for New Orleans in 2016-17. An unrestricted free agent this offseason, he should attract interest from a number of different teams and may even get the opportunity for a homecoming or the chance to team up with his brother.
Health is a concern with Holiday — he has averaged just 51.5 games played in his four seasons in New Orleans. But as an explosive two-way guard who can synergize with resident frontcourt menaces Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins, it’s easy to see why Gentry and the Pelicans want him back.
The New Orleans Pelicans have lost four straight games and are one of the worst teams in basketball. Typically when that is the case, the team’s head coach is not on solid ground.
But that is the last thing on Alvin Gentry’s mind.
After the Pelicans lost at home to the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday night, Gentry cut off a reporter who asked about his job status.
Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry "I don't give a shit about my job status, that's not what I worry about" pic.twitter.com/jFIRRuQu15
— gifdsports (@gifdsports) December 9, 2016
“I really don’t give a s— about my job status,” Gentry said. “I’m gonna work hard and I’m gonna coach until the day they tell me I’m not the coach here anymore. I don’t ever worry about that. That’s not anything I ever spend five seconds worrying about. My worry is how do I get the guys in the locker room to play at the level I want them to. That’s where all my effort goes.”
Aside from Anthony Davis, who just may be the MVP of the league, the guys in Gentry’s locker room are not playing at a high level. And based on what Gentry said about Davis recently, we know he thinks incredibly highly of the superstar.
The Pelicans were swept in the first round of the playoffs two years ago, and that cost former head coach Monty Williams his job. The team won 30 games in its first year under Gentry and could be even worse off this season. He knows he could be getting the axe if things don’t turn around in a hurry.
- Alvin Gentry
Alvin Gentry thinks so highly of Anthony Davis that he wouldn’t trade the big man for anybody in the league — not even LeBron James.
The New Orleans Pelicans head coach joined Jay Mohr on FOX Sports Radio Tuesday and was asked about Davis. He then mentioned how valuable he considers the former No. 1 pick to be.
“I wouldn’t trade him for anybody, I can tell you that there’s not anyone in the league that I would trade him for,” Gentry told Mohr.
Mohr then asked whether he would keep Davis if presented with the opportunity to get LeBron in return.
“My guy is 23 years old — he’s going to be around for a long time. I love LeBron and he’s as talented as anybody who has ever played the game, but he’s also a little bit older than my guy by a few years as a matter a fact. But if you’re talking about starting a team right now then yes, but if you’re talking about the very best player in the league then I don’t think there’s any doubt that it is LeBron.”
Davis is in his fifth season in the league and seems to only be getting better. He’s averaging a career-high 31.6 points, 10.9 rebounds, 2.8 blocks and 1.6 steals per game, and he’s shooting 51.9 percent from the field and 81.3 from the line. Unfortunately his team is only 6-12 this season, but it’s not for a lack of effort on his part. And Gentry probably isn’t crazy to want to keep Davis over anybody else.
The New Orleans Pelicans were torn apart at the seams by injury last season, and their luck still doesn’t appear to be getting any better.
In an appearance on The Lowe Post podcast with ESPN’s Zach Lowe on Friday, Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry said that guard Tyreke Evans will not be ready for the start of the 2016-17 season.
“He won’t be ready for the start of the season,” Gentry said, per Brett Dawson of the New Orleans Advocate. “He’s in a rehab situation. I think for us, we just got to move forward with our season, and then if he comes back and he’s able to help us, I think that just adds icing to the cake.”
Evans, 26, averaged 15.2 points per game, 5.2 rebounds per game, and 6.6 assists per game last year but was only healthy enough to suit up in 25 games for New Orleans. The former No. 4 overall pick was ruled out for the remainder of the season in February when he underwent his third right knee surgery in nine months and is apparently still very much in recovery.
While obviously a meaningful contributor to the team, Evans has had a tendency to drive the Pelicans’ offense into the ground with his chaotic dribbling and his high volume of touches. Being without Evans for the opening part of next season may not be entirely to New Orleans’ detriment, as they will be able to find more playing time for Buddy Hield, their No. 6 overall selection in last month’s draft, as well as new free agent additions Langston Galloway and E’Twaun Moore. But having gone 30-52 last year, they’re going to need everyone healthy for the upward climb back into the Western Conference playoff picture, let alone the lofty assessment Evans himself had of the team just last offseason.
Image Credit: Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports
H/T NBA Reddit