The Pelicans fired Alvin Gentry on Saturday, Aug. 15 after five seasons with the team. After finishing up a disappointing 2–6 record in the Orlando Bubble during the NBA restart, the Pelicans are now without a head coach.
The firing of Gentry is a move that will help the young core of our Pelicans for long term purposes.
Alvin Gentry ran the Pelicans offense in a very high paced style. The next coach will more than likely run the same sort of style, but the makeup of what David Griffin, the Pelicans’ vice president of basketball operations, has on this roster right now doesn't fit Alvin Gentry’s style.
In Gentry’s 17 years as a head coach, he is 84 games under .500, taking his teams to the playoffs only three times. His reputation as a coach is inflated by his success in the 2009-2010 season when he took an overachieving Phoenix Suns team to the Western Conference finals.
Gentry only led the Pelicans to one season over .500 while making the playoffs that year only to lose in the second round.
New Orleans went 30-42 this season, finishing with just two victories in its final eight games. Despite the presence of top overall draft choice Zion Williamson and first-time All-Star Brandon Ingram in the lineup, the club was eliminated from playoff contention with two games to play.
When asked about looking for a new head coach during a virtual media conference, Griffin said, “We will not be quick with this at all. This is not a rush. We have a job that we believe is going to be the most attractive in the NBA," Griffin said, also mentioning that the coronavirus pandemic also could slow the timeline for a hire because of the importance he places on getting to know candidates face to face.
“This isn’t going to be done solely via Zoom,” Griffin said. “It’s very difficult to find the right voice with the right group of people that have a shared vision. I would tell you that hiring a head coach is the hardest thing we do from a front office perspective because it impacts every single part of your organization, and it has the biggest impact every day on your players and the culture that you’re trying to build."
Griffin will now have the responsibility of trying to find a head coach that not only has a style that fits the Pelicans' current roster but a coach that can give this organization a winning culture and teach these young players how to be successful.
So who are some possible candidates to replace Alvin Gentry? ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported last week that Tyronn Lu and Jason Kidd could be candidates.
The Pelicans have significant appeal for a head coach looking for a home as they have the best young core in the NBA with Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, among many others leading the way. The next coach in line will have several weapons in his arsenal with the influx of talent New Orleans has.