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.