UPDATE 10:23 pm: The first interview is going to take place on Monday night in San Francisco, according to an update from Adrian Wojnarowski.
This is just the first step in the process. That process will not necessarily move quickly as Gentry is busy helping the Warriors game-plan for the Rockets in the Western Conference Finals. Smart move by the Pelicans to start the process now — and put a little pressure on the Bulls to make their move sooner rather than later.
5:54 pm: Alvin Gentry is going to be a head coach somewhere next season. Deservedly so (we’ll get into that, just keep reading).
The best NBA coaching job open right now is with the New Orleans Pelicans. It’s the best job thanks to two words: Anthony Davis. Three words if you throw in gumbo.
The Pelicans reportedly have been patiently waiting to see how the Tom Thibodeau situation plays out in Chicago — and that could take some time with what the Bulls are asking — so the Pelicans have decided to be proactive and talk to the Warriors’ lead assistant Gentry. So reports Marc Stein of ESPN.
The New Orleans Pelicans have been granted permission to interview Golden State Warriors assistant coach Alvin Gentry for their coaching vacancy, according to league sources.
Sources told ESPN.com that Gentry has emerged as one of the leading candidates for the position alongside Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, who is widely expected to part company with the Bulls this offseason.
Gentry is the best offensive mind available on the open coaching market. This season he was the right hand to Steve Kerr at Golden State and the guy in charge of putting their offense together — the second most efficient offense in the NBA. The season before that he was the right hand to Doc Rivers in Los Angeles and handled that offense, where he led Chris Paul and Blake Griffin to being the most inefficient offense in the NBA. Gentry runs a modern NBA offense with ball-screens, motion, up-tempo play and plenty of three-point shooting to space the floor.
Yes, Gentry is a “retread” in the sense he has more than 700 games as an NBA head coach and a .475 win percentage. But sometimes guys figure things out as they hang around the game and become better coaches, ones who fit an evolution in the sport. Gentry can be one of those guys.
It’s fun to picture what he could do with Anthony Davis and that offense (especially if Jrue Holiday and Ryan Anderson are healthy for a full season).
Gentry will have options, he is reportedly near the top of the Denver Nuggets’ list as well. Gentry has said he likes where he is in the Bay Area right now and it would need to be a special situation to lure him away.
The Pelicans may have played too slowly but they were a top-10 offense last season under Monty Williams. They were a bottom 10 defensive team. That’s the end of the floor where improvement is most needed.
Could Gentry help there as well? As much as Thibodeau?
Either way, better to start the process than to be the one standing without a chair when the music stops.