The New Orleans Pelicans are in the hunt for a new head coach.
As first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski and Andrew Lopez of ESPN, the Pelicans have fired coach Alvin Gentry after five seasons.
The decision to move on from Gentry doesn’t come as an enormous shock. He had made the playoffs just once in five seasons, falling short this year after going 2-6 in bubble play. In addition, the Pelicans brought in a new basketball operations department last season headed by David Griffin. That group did not hire Gentry, but inherited him, making his position somewhat tenuous unless he brought quick success.
The Pelicans’ job should be of major interest to head coaching candidates, as they have a good young core led by last year’s top pick Zion Williamson. We have already heard of two fairly big names who were linked to the role even before Gentry’s dismissal.
The New Orleans Pelicans have officially missed the playoffs once again, but Alvin Gentry still does not see a need to sleep with one eye open.
Speaking Monday after his team was formally eliminated from postseason contention, Gentry addressed the concerns about his job security.
“I told you guys, I don’t ever worry about anything like that,” he said, per Marc Stein of the New York Times. “I’m the coach until I’m not the coach and I act accordingly.”
The Pelicans have gone 2-4 in bubble play and were mathematically eliminated this weekend. This is Gentry’s fifth season coaching the team, and he has only made the playoffs once (a second-round exit in 2017-18).
New Orleans did have an almost entirely new core for this season after last summer’s Anthony Davis trade, and No. 1 overall pick Zion Williamson was far from full-speed for them. But last year saw the Pelicans hire a new front office team of GM Trajan Langdon and executive VP David Griffin, so they may now seriously consider hand-picking a new coach. If the team does decide to do so, an intriguing list of candidates is already out there.
Alvin Gentry has been cleared to travel with his New Orleans Pelicans to participate in the NBA bubble at Disney World in Orlando.
Gentry, 65, was under scrutiny from the league because his age puts him in a higher risk category for the coronavirus.
Gentry is part of a group of head coaches including Gregg Popovich (71) and Mike D’Antoni (69), and assistant coaches like Jeff Bzdelik (67) and Lionel Hollins (66) who are part of a higher-risk group.
Bzdelik opted against participating in the Orlando bubble, while Hollins was deemed higher risk due to underlying medical conditions and is not joining the Lakers.
Gentry is in his fifth season as New Orleans’ head coach. His Pelicans were 28-36 when the season was paused in March.
Alvin Gentry is opposed to the idea of older coaches not being allowed on the bench when the NBA season resumes in July.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said on TNT Thursday that older coaches might not be allowed to be on the bench because the CDC classifies those 65 and over as more high risk from the coronavirus. Such a limitation would affect head coaches Gregg Popovich (71), Mike D’Antoni (69) and Gentry (65), and assistant coaches like Jeff Bzdelik (67) and Lionel Hollins (66).
Gentry told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne that he does not feel older coaches should be singled out.
Gentry also called the possible rule “unfair.”
The NBA understandably wants to protect the health and safety of everyone associated with the league. Gentry understandably does not want to be limited by the league in his ability to execute his job.
Perhaps the solution is having coaches sign legal waivers stating that they accept the health risk that comes from doing their job from the bench. In his statement, Gentry said he was comfortable with the risk.
New Orleans Pelicans fans aren’t happy with the restrictions being placed on Zion Williamson as he eases into NBA action for the first time, but coach Alvin Gentry won’t be changing his mind because of fan protests.
Williamson played 21 minutes in Friday night’s game, scoring 15 points and adding six rebounds, but sat on the bench at the end of it as the Pelicans lost to Denver. That prompted “we want Zion” chants from the home crowd in New Orleans, but Gentry was unmoved.
“It’s the way we’ve decided, it’s best for him right now and that’s what we’re going to stick to,” Gentry said, via Andrew Lopez of ESPN. “I know everybody gets real excited, and I hear every night that I’m the dumbest coach in the world about why would I take the guy out in the game of the last 5 minutes or 6 minutes? So I’ll live with that knowing that we’re doing the right thing.”
Williamson’s debut was incredibly exciting and promising, and it’s easy to understand why fans want to see more. However, he had knee surgery in October, and the last thing the Pelicans want to do is risk his future by overworking him now.
Alvin Gentry dealt with a lot of unexpected headaches last season when Anthony Davis publicly demanded to be traded, and the New Orleans Pelicans coach is still bitter over the way Davis handled the situation.
ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan spoke with a number of NBA head coaches about the current landscape of the league, and many of them expressed frustration over the way players have been forcing trades and not honoring their contracts. Gentry said he knew exactly what was coming when Davis signed with agent Rich Paul and Klutch Sports, and he wishes the All-Star big man went about it differently.
“They told me, ‘No, we’re not trying to get him traded,’ but we all realized it was just a matter of time,” Gentry said.
“I understand that some players feel the need to move on. With Anthony, it could have and should have been handled differently. If it was, I would have been OK with the situation.”
Gentry said he has no problem with a player working privately with a franchise and waiting until the offseason to resolve the situation. That would help avoid distractions like the one Davis created, which Gentry referred to as a “dumpster fire” at the time.
Davis obviously wanted out of New Orleans as soon as possible, and he thought publicly putting pressure on the team would help accomplish that goal. As it turned out, they waited until the offseason to deal him, anyway. We already knew that Gentry was bitter about the way Davis handled his business based on the shot he took at Davis following the trade, but his more recent comments confirm that.
The NBA world is generally in agreement that the New Orleans Pelicans did exceptionally well in resetting their franchise as a result of the Anthony Davis trade.
Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry certainly seems pleased. After all, the team landed Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, and the fourth overall pick in the draft in exchange for Davis. They proceeded to flip the 4th pick for the 8th, 17th, and 35th picks, in addition to drafting Zion Williamson first overall.
Gentry was happy to remark on how well his team did — while simultaneously seeming to throw some shade Davis’ way.
During the Pelicans’ final regular season game — and his final game as a member of the team — Davis famously showed up wearing a rather fitting shirt. While funny, it’s easy to see why some with the Pelicans were a little put off by it, and now they’re willing to at least laugh about it…sort of.
The basketball gods gave the New Orleans Pelicans a major gift on Tuesday night, and the reaction of head coach Alvin Gentry showed just how significant it was for the franchise.
Despite having only a 6 percent chance of winning the NBA Draft Lottery, the Pelicans ended up with the No. 1 pick and the rights to draft former Duke superstar Zion Williamson. Gentry did absolutely nothing to hide his excitement, first standing up and yelling, “F— yeah!” in a room with representatives from other teams.
Gentry later crashed an interview with new Pelicans GM David Griffin and acted like the team had just won an NBA title.
While Gentry’s reaction was entertaining, it didn’t quite top the celebration that the Pelicans’ ticket department broke into when the pick was announced. Anthony Davis may still want New Orleans to trade him, but Williamson is considered a franchise-altering talent. You can understand why the Pelicans were so thrilled given the odds they had of landing at No. 1.
Alvin Gentry is nearing the end of what has almost certainly been his most trying season as the head coach of the New Orleans Pelicans, and a brief exchange he had with reporters after Monday night’s game may have helped shed some light on that.
Following his team’s 115-112 road win over the Utah Jazz, Gentry began fumbling his words a bit while recapping some of the action. He then burst out laughing and asked the media to excuse him, as he had just “had a couple beers.”
The reporter who told Gentry “you earned it” probably said it best. The Pelicans had just won their third consecutive game on the road, so Gentry has found a way to avoid a complete disaster in a season where the franchise’s best player publicly demanded a trade. And, somehow, that isn’t all the drama Gentry has been forced to deal with.
New Orleans showed signs of promise after sweeping the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round of the playoffs last year, but they look like they’re going to miss the postseason this year. Despite that, you could easily argue that Gentry has done enough to keep his job amid turmoil. That’s worth saying “cheers” to.
The New Orleans Pelicans organization continues to look worse and worse as the Anthony Davis saga rolls on.
Davis and agent Rich Paul left Thursday night’s game early, walking out after the star center suffered a shoulder injury in the first half. According to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN, it was communicated to the front office that he was leaving to get an MRI, but coach Alvin Gentry only found out about the incident after the game via the media.
On Friday, the Pelicans fired general manager Dell Demps, partially because of the fallout from this incident. It’s been said that the organization is happy with how Gentry is handling the team amidst the chaos, and you can see why, since it seems like some people haven’t bothered to keep him in the loop. No wonder he had a pretty scathing assessment of everything going on.