Gentry was furious after he officials in Tuesday night’s Los Angeles Lakers-Sacramento Kings game blew a call.
Malik Monk was at the free throw line attempting his second of two free throws with 24.8 seconds left and his Lakers leading 119-114. Monk missed the second free throw. All the Lakers went back to play defense after the miss, leaving the ball there for the Kings’ taking.
Kings guard De’Aaron Fox recognized there was no danger of a turnover, so he intentionally did not touch the ball in an effort to save time. However, Fox noticed the game clock had already started, which was to his team’s detriment.
Fox pointed this out to the referees, who had blown the whistle to stop the game. The officials initially were going to let the Kings take out the basketball, but then they convened and decided to do a jump ball instead.
When Gentry learned this, the interim Kings coach was furious. He and Fox couldn’t believe how badly the officials butchered the call.
Their anger and frustration is understandable. There’s no explanation for the officials turning things into a jump ball. The Lakers won the jump ball, leading the Kings to foul them to stop the clock. The Kings lost 122-114.
Sacramento had actually won two in a row coming into Friday’s game, but that does little to mask the fact that they have lost eight of their last 12. Gentry’s installation as interim coach had provided a bit of a boost, but it looks to have worn off.
The Sacramento job remains as frustrating as anything in basketball. One has to wonder if Gentry has the same conclusion that one of his predecessors came to.
As if David Griffin wasn’t already under enough scrutiny, now he is the subject of a WWE-like storyline.
Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer reported this week that the New Orleans Pelicans executive had a heated run-in with former Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry during a recent home game. Gentry, who is now the associate head coach for the Sacramento Kings, was in New Orleans on Oct. 29 for Sacramento’s contest against the Pelicans. After the game, a 113-109 victory for the Kings, Griffin reportedly approached Gentry to offer a warm hello. However, Gentry brushed off his efforts as inauthentic.
Gentry was apparently upset about a recent article by NOLA.com claiming that Griffin used to lament to team and league officials that he would give Gentry “all the answers to the test, and he still fails.” Griffin reportedly denied the findings of the article to Gentry, but Gentry replied back with some choice words.
“You must not have given Stan the answers to the test, either,” an irritated Gentry allegedly shouted at Griffin during the run-in. This was a reference to Stan Van Gundy, who succeeded Gentry as coach of the Pelicans but was fired after just one season as well. Fischer adds that the two men then had to be separated.
Gentry was head coach of the Pelicans for five seasons from 2015 to 2020. Griffin arrived as New Orleans’ head of basketball operations in 2019 but fired Gentry after just one season of working together. Fischer’s report adds that Griffin was widely known to covet Tyronn Lue, his former colleague on the Cleveland Cavaliers, instead of Gentry.
The Pelicans have not exactly fared well since Gentry’s firing. Under Van Gundy last season, they went 31-41 and did not even qualify for the play-in tournament. Under new head coach Willie Green, the Pelicans are now a league-worst 1-11 this season. They have also faced questions about their handling of superstar Zion Williamson’s injury. Now they can add some more bad press for the embattled Griffin to their list of woes.
Photo: Jul 5, 2019; Las Vegas, NV, USA; New Orleans Pelicans general manager David Griffin in attendance against the New York Knicks during an NBA Summer League game at Thomas & Mack Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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 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, 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
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.
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."
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."
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.
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.