Author: Brett Pollakoff

Phoenix Suns v Boston Celtics

Report: Pelicans have agreed to make Alvin Gentry their new head coach


The New Orleans Pelicans have agreed to make Golden State Warriors assistant Alvin Gentry their next head coach, according to reports from ESPN’s Marc Stein and Ken Berger of CBS Sports.

Gentry had interviewed twice for the position, and was up against stiff competition in Jeff Van Gundy, and perhaps a few others. He is well-qualified, however, and could potentially do wonders offensively with  lineup centered around Anthony Davis, who is arguably (already) one of the game’s top three players.

In addition to holding Steve Kerr’s hand in his first year as an NBA head coach this season, and helping the Warriors explode to become the 67-win juggernaut that made it to the NBA Finals, Gentry was the lead assistant on Doc Rivers’ staff with the Clippers a season ago, and transformed their offense into the league’s most efficient.

Gentry’s time as head coach of the Suns peaked in 2010, when Phoenix took the Lakers to six games in the Western Conference Finals. Gentry is a players’ coach, but one who isn’t afraid to get after his guys on the practice floor in order to achieve the desired results.

This is a solid move by the Pelicans to bring in a veteran of the coaching game, but one who is well-respected around the league and has a recent track record of success.

We discussed Gentry’s fit with the Pelicans and much more on this week’s podcast.

Report: Tom Thibodeau ‘hurt’ by Bulls’ statement on his firing

Tom Thibodeau

When the Bulls formally announced the firing of head coach Tom Thibodeau, the organization left little doubt as to its motives for making the change.

“While the head of each department of the organization must be free to make final decisions regarding his department, there must be free and open interdepartmental discussion and consideration of everyone’s ideas and opinions,” Chicago Bulls Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said. “These internal discussions must not be considered an invasion of turf, and must remain private. Teams that consistently perform at the highest levels are able to come together and be unified across the organization-staff, players, coaches, management and ownership. When everyone is on the same page, trust develops and teams can grow and succeed together. Unfortunately, there has been a departure from this culture.”

That sounded like it might leave a mark, and Thibodeau was reportedly hurt by the way the Bulls handled his departure.

From K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune:

Several confidants of Thibodeau have encouraged him to take next season off, collect his Bulls salary and survey potential jobs for the 2016-17 season. According to three people who spoke to Thibodeau, Bulls Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf’s stinging statement on his firing hurt but otherwise he sounded buoyed and optimistic about his future.

One Thibodeau confidant even said he talked appreciatively about his five-year run in Chicago, a city in which he loved to coach with a roster he also admired.

There are only two current head coaching vacancies at the moment, and those are jobs with the Pelicans and the Nuggets.

Thibodeau has never been linked to the opening in Denver, and New Orleans has already interviewed several candidates, including Golden State assistant coach Alvin Gentry for a second time.

Money isn’t an issue for Thibodeau, because the Bulls will be paying him the $9 million that was still left on his contract when they decided to cut him loose. If the Pelicans job can’t be his (and he may not be all that interested in it anyway), then sitting out a season and waiting for more desirable opportunities to become available may be the best option.

Andrew Bogut takes veiled shot at Dwight Howard

Golden State Warriors v Houston Rockets - Game Four

The Rockets and the Warriors had a somewhat chippy Western Conference Finals matchup, if not one that was overly-physical — at least in Andrew Bogut’s eyes.

Bogut and Dwight Howard had plenty of battles in the post, and Howard even got away with whacking Bogut in the face without being ejected or suspended.

Howard did end up earning a one-game suspension for the total number of flagrant foul points he amassed during the postseason, which prompted Bogut to take a veiled shot at Howard when he was asked about the physicality of the series against the Rockets the day the suspension was announced.

From Rusty Simmons of

On the day that Dwight Howard was suspended for a game without pay for collecting his fourth flagrant foul of the postseason, Andrew Bogut took a parting shot at the Houston center.

“There was some physicality there (with Houston), like any playoff series, but the Memphis series was more physical,” Bogut said after Friday’s practice. “This was more about ducking and weaving and getting out of the way of aired fists and elbows.”

There’s a clear difference between a physical battle where players put their bodies on the line to give their all for their team in an effort to win, and one in which guys are simply taking cheap shots whenever they get the chance.

Howard appeared to be doing the latter plenty against the Warriors, which makes it difficult to disagree with Bogut’s remarks.