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, 65, has been one of the league staff members undergoing further scrutiny before heading into bubble. Houston coach Mike D'Antoni, 69, is among those still awaiting word, although there's optimism that he'll be cleared too. Rockets leave for Orlando tomorrow. https://t.co/lZsfVsbR6q
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 8, 2020
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.
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.
Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry on Adam Silver's remark on @NBAonTNT that "certain coaches" might not be on the bench when play resumes. "That doesn't make sense. How can I coach that way? " Gentry, who is 65, says he doesn't think older coaches "should be singled out."
— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) June 5, 2020
Gentry also called the possible rule “unfair.”
Alvin Gentry: “At the end of the day, they're the league. They're going to make the choice. I think it's unfair if that's what they're doing. I understand the risk that I'm taking if I do get it. But hell, I want to be with my team and do my job. That's what they hired me for."
— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) June 5, 2020
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.
Alvin Gentry on the bevy of players & picks they were able to get out of the Anthony Davis trade:
“That’s a haul folks.”
A very punny response to AD’s “That’s All Folks” Looney Tunes shirt.
— Andrew Doak (@AndrewDoak_WWL) June 22, 2019
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.
— NBA (@NBA) May 15, 2019
Gentry later crashed an interview with new Pelicans GM David Griffin and acted like the team had just won an NBA title.
How excited is Alvin Gentry about getting the #1 pick in the NBA Draft?
— Doug Mouton (@DMoutonWWL) May 15, 2019
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.”
Alvin Gentry post game: "Excuse me, I've had a couple of beers"
— Shamit Dua (@FearTheBrown) March 5, 2019
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.