The New Orleans Pelicans made the playoffs only once in the five seasons Alvin Gentry has been their head coach. Following the team’s disappointing run in the Orlando bubble for the truncated finish for the 2019-2020 season, they dismissed Gentry with one year remaining on his contract.
Alvin Gentry has been relieved of his head coaching duties.
— New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) August 15, 2020
Moving on from Gentry seems like an inevitable coaching reboot given the young players that the franchise has to work with, including superstar rookie Zion Williamson and NBA All-Star Brandon Ingram. They’ll want to bring in a new coach who is able to harness their abilities and help build up a roster around them that can compete in the West.
In five seasons at the helm, Gentry coached the Pelicans to a 175-225 record, which is still good enough to make him the 2nd-winningest coach in franchise history behind Byron Scott. His sole playoff run, which ended in the 2018 Western Conference Semifinals, left him as the only coach in team history with a winning playoff record (5-4).
However, much of Gentry’s time with the Pelicans was hampered due to injuries and he ended up using more unique starting lineups (140) in the past five seasons than any other NBA team, per Elias. In fact, he was forced to use 42 different starting lineups in his first season with the team.
Alvin Gentry calls timeout when the Pelicans had a wide open uncontested layup pic.twitter.com/mQaJmYkYoc
— CJ Fogler #BlackLivesMatter (@cjzero) August 12, 2020
Gentry came to the Pelicans following a stint on the Golden State Warriors coaching staff. Previous to that he was the head coach of the Phoenix Suns for five seasons and also had head coaching gigs with the Clippers, Pistons, and Heat. His all-time coaching record in the NBA stands at 480-553.
New Orleans’ executive VP David Griffin and GM Trajen Langdon are expected to begin a search that will include reportedly include Lakers’ assistant Jason Kidd, Clippers assistant Ty Lue, former Nets coach Kenny Atkinson, and current Nets interim coach Jacque Vaughn, presuming Brooklyn doesn’t retain him. Griffin has a history with both Kidd and Lue while Langdon was an assistant GM in Brooklyn during Atkinson’s tenure.