Alvin Gentry Named New Orleans Pelicans Head Coach

Alvin Gentry is the new head coach of the New Orleans Pelicans, according to multiple media outlets.

Highly regarded as an offensive guru, Gentry, 60, is currently the associate head coach of the Golden State Warriors, who are of course heading to the NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers. He will assume his new duties once the playoffs conclude.

The Pelicans, who were knocked out of the playoffs by the Warriors in the first round, parted ways with coach Monty Williams on May 12.

“Little did anyone know at the time that one of the coaches who was beating [All-Star power forward/center] Anthony Davis would soon be joining him,” USA Today noted.

Gentry has an extensive resume as an assistant coach and head coach for several NBA teams. A longtime Phoenix Suns assistant coach under Mike D’Antoni, he was head coach for that team from 2009 through 2013.

In head coaching stints with the Miami Heat, Detroit Pistons, Los Angeles Clippers, and the Suns, Gentry compiled a 335-370 win-loss record over 12 seasons. He was reportedly earning about $800,000 with the Warriors and will likely receive a significant bump in pay with the Pelicans.

“Gentry, by all accounts, loved it with the Warriors under [head coach Steve] Kerr, who was the GM in Phoenix when Gentry was the head coach. He also loved the Bay Area, including the multiplicity of business opportunities. But the Warriors always knew he couldn’t pass up a lucrative contract and one more chance to lead a team,” the Mercury News explained.

The Pelicans reportedly also interviewed ex-coaches Jeff Van Gundy, currently an ESPN game analyst, and Scott Skiles, who took the Orlando Magic job yesterday.

New Orleans evidently wants to implement a more up-tempo offense, and management believes that Gentry is the man for the job.

“Gentry has been one of the architects of the Warriors’ potent offense… The Pelicans, sources say, ultimately chose Gentry because they wanted to infuse their offense with more creativity and pace, in hopes of taking advantage of [Anthony] Davis’ uncommon gifts for a big man and the athletes on the roster around him,” ESPN reported.

In the 2013-2014 season, Alvin Gentry was credited with jump-starting the Los Angeles Clippers offense as the lead assistant to head coach Doc Rivers.

“With a player such as Davis who can run the floor and create havoc on both ends, Gentry will no doubt implement the kind of system that will take advantage of that athleticism and provide fans with an entertaining product,” the New Orleans Times-Picayune observed.

[Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images Sport]