OAKLAND –- The Warriors are in the midst of a season of unprecedented success, and associate head coach Alvin Gentry has received an appreciable share of the credit.
It was impressive enough to land the veteran coach a new job.
Gentry will be leaving to become head coach of the New Orleans Pelicans, the team announced Saturday evening.
Per team policy, the Pelicans did not reveals terms of the deal, but Yahoo Sports is reporting that Gentry will sign a four-year deal.
Following the announcement of the deal, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr issued a statement:
I’m extremely happy for Alvin and wish him the best of luck in this new challenge. He’s had a tremendous impact on the success of our team this season and, personally, has been instrumental in my development as a coach. His experience as a head coach in the NBA has been invaluable during my first season and will, likewise, serve the Pelicans well as they move forward. Our loss is New Orleans’ gain and I know he’ll do an outstanding job with the Pelicans once the NBA Finals are completed.
Gentry, 60, will not leave the Warriors until the conclusion of the NBA Finals, which begin next Thursday.
One of two positions – along with the Chicago Bulls – Gentry was being considered for, he recently revealed to CSNBayArea.com a clear preference to join the Pelicans, with whom he interviewed on May 18 in the Bay Area.
He met on Friday in New Orleans for a second time with Pelicans brass, team vice president Mickey Loomis and general manager Dell Demps, according to multiple reports.
The lure of the Big Easy is evident: Anthony Davis is the most captivating young talent in the NBA. Only 22 years old, the 6-foot-10 forward already has grown into a franchise player.
Primarily responsible for the Warriors offense — top-rated for most of the season — Gentry believes the Pelicans have underutilized Davis’ offensive skills. Not only did he express this during his initial interview with Loomis and Demps, but Gentry also came into that session equipped with charts and graphs to illustrate his point.
Gentry has been an NBA head coach four times in the past, most recently with the Phoenix Suns until 2013.
Of note: Brian Shaw, head coach of the Denver Nuggets until dismissed in March, was a visitor at the Warriors facility on Saturday. Shaw, like Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, played for legendary coach Phil Jackson and is a disciple of Jackson’s coaching philosophies.