The New Orleans Pelicans on Monday introduced Alvin Gentry as their new head coach, and the former Warriors assistant didn't wait long to stoke the flames of a budding rivalry.
With the champagne from the Warriors Championship Parade and Rally barely washed from his hair, Gentry indirectly declared that Anthony Davis is better than NBA MVP Stephen Curry.
"As far as this job and this basketball team, I'm really excited about it," Gentry said at his introductory press conference. "We've got the best player in the NBA not named LeBron James. And to be honest with you, he never has to say that. That's kind of an inside joke, I guess you had to be there..."
Gentry was referring to First-Team All-NBA power forward Anthony Davis, and playing off comments made by James after the Warriors took a 3-2 NBA Finals lead.
"I feel confident because I'm the best player in the world," James told reporters.
Gentry laughed it off, and his press conference included plenty of kind words for the Warriors, specifically head coach Steve Kerr.
"Want to thank Joe Lacob, Peter Guber, Bob Myers, and I want to say a special thanks to Steve Kerr," Gentry said. "We've been friends a long, long time, and the opportunity came up, he did not hesitate to say, 'You've got an interview, you've got to try to get that job. It's a great situation.' Didn't think about the situation then at Golden State. It was more about, 'Alvin, this is a great opportunity for you, and if you can do it, go ahead.' So I have a really, really special relationship with Steve Kerr. He's just an awesome person. I could go on for hours and hours."
Gentry and Kerr shared an interesting moment as the two celebrated the Warriors championship last Tuesday. Gentry looked directly into the camera with a message for Davis: "AD, we're coming right back here!" And in response, Kerr jokingly called for Gentry to be removed from the locker room: "Hey, get out here! ... Get him outta here!"
The Warriors ended the Pelicans' season, sweeping them 4-0 in the first round of the postseason. But New Orleans put up a fight, and matchups next season with Golden State will be highly anticipated.