Alvin Gentry

Grizzlies reportedly set to interview Alvin Gentry for head coaching job


After parting ways with Lionel Hollins earlier this week, there won’t be a shortage of candidates interested in the Grizzlies now vacant head coaching position.

Memphis has a solid roster and reached the Western Conference Finals for the first time in team history this season, and the organization is looking at both veterans of the game and potential first-timers as the one who will be expected to lead the franchise for the next several years.

Former Phoenix Suns head coach Alvin Gentry will be the next to interview for the position, reports Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports.

Gentry was contacted by the Grizzlies on Wednesday and is expected to interview with owner Robert Pera and CEO Jason Levien in Washington, D.C.. on Friday. Other coaching candidates include Grizzlies assistant coach Dave Joerger, former Denver Nuggets coach George Karl and Chicago Bulls assistant coach Ed Pickney, a league source said. Memphis is expected to conduct interviews through next week.

Gentry worked under Mike D’Antoni with the famed Seven Seconds or Less teams in Phoenix, and succeeded Terry Porter to coach the Suns for three full years and parts of two others before being replaced by the franchise once it admitted to itself it was time to start from scratch halfway through last season. He guided the Suns to the Western Conference Finals in 2010.

Memphis struggled on the offensive end of the floor during the regular season, and finished near the bottom of the league in the relevant statistical categories. Gentry’s experience in pushing the tempo and creating quality shots early in possessions for his teams would be an asset to the Grizzlies, as would his ability to command respect from his veteran players.

Gentry has been linked to the Clippers head coaching vacancy, although an interview has yet to be scheduled.

Kings pick up option on G Ben McLemore

Ben McLemore, Rodney Hood
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) The Sacramento have picked up the 2016-17 option on guard Ben McLemore‘s contract.

General manager Vlade Divac announced the move Saturday.

McLemore was Sacramento’s first-round pick in 2013. He averaged 12.1 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists last season.

Paul George reiterates “I don’t know if I’m cut out for a four spot”

Paul George

In the Pacers first exhibition game of the season Saturday against the Pelicans, Paul George started at the power forward spot and looked healthy — that should be the big takeaway. He also showed off his offensive game in the first quarter, eventually finishing the night with 18 points on 7-of-15 shooting. He forced some shots in the second half and had some defensive challenges, but it was a solid outing for a first preseason game.

George did not see it that way, and that will end up being the big takeaway.

He complained about playing power forward during training camp and given the chance after this one game he did it again, as reported by Candace Buckner of the Indy Star.

“I don’t know if I’m cut out for a four spot,” George said after the Pacers’ 110-105 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans, a game in which he started matched up against 6-foot-11 All-Star Anthony Davis.

“I don’t know if this is my position. We’ll sit and watch tape and I’m sure I’ll talk with coach (Frank Vogel). I’ll talk with Larry (Bird) as well to get both their inputs on how the first game went but…I’m still not comfortable with it regardless of the situation. It’s still something I have to adjust to or maybe not. Or maybe it’s something we can go away from.”

George sees himself as a wing, where he has played his entire career. He doesn’t like defending traditional fours, as a scorer he doesn’t like expending all that energy defending pick-and-rolls and banging with bigger bodies. He’s been clear about that.

He still needs to be open to the idea. How much time George gets at the four on any given night should depend on the matchup — and Anthony Davis is about as rough a matchup as he is going to see. Davis scored 18 points in 15 minutes, and the Pelicans controlled the paint against the small-ball Pacers. George had a hard time defending Davis — welcome to a rather large club, PG. That said, George scored 12 points in the first quarter mostly with Davis on him, he pulled the big out in space and got what he wanted.

Back to the matchups point, George will struggle defensively against the best fours in the game (most of whom are in the West). But what about the nights in the East when George would be matched up on Thaddeus Young from Brooklyn, Jared Sullinger (or David Lee, or whoever) from Boston, or Aaron Gordon with the Magic, or Carmelo Anthony with the Knicks when they play small? There are a lot of lineups the Pacers will see where George at the four makes sense.

The Pacers are transitioning from a plodding and defensive-minded squad to a more up-tempo style, and that’s going to take time— a lot more than one preseason game. However, if George is throwing cold water on the plan after this one effort, it might take a lot longer and be a lot bumpier to make that transition than we pictured.