The New Orleans Pelicans announced on Saturday Afternoon that they have dismissed head coach Alvin Gentry.
Gentry came to New Orleans from Golden State, where he was a top assistant under Steve Kerr when the Warriors won the 2015 NBA title.
New Orleans made the playoffs in Gentry’s third season, sweeping Portland in the first round before falling to eventual champion Golden State in the second. But the Pelicans were derailed the following season by a combination of injuries and Davis’ trade demand, which precipitated Demps’ firing.
Gentry went 175-225 since his hiring by former Pelicans general manager Dell Demps after the club fired Monte Williams following the 2014-15 season, when Davis was the face of the franchise.
Gentry was retained even after Demps was replaced by Griffin and the coach’s contract was extended through the end of next season.
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 until the club was eliminated from playoff contention with two games to play.
Gentry had a year left on his contract.
Executive VP David Griffin said a better showing would not have necessarily saved Gentry’s job.
“Frankly, had we been more successful in the bubble, this could have still been the decision we made,” Griffin said.
Gentry’s coaching staff remains employed and includes assistant Chris Finch, who Griffin said will be a head coaching candidate for several teams.
“We feel very strongly about the assistant coaching staff,” Griffin said. “Some of those individuals potentially will be head coaching candidates elsewhere — Chris Finch certainly among them. And we feel strongly about Chris. He’ll be part of our conversation moving forward. And it’s our intention that many of our staffers here will continue with the next regime in some form.”
The Pelicans move into the coaching marketplace with the Brooklyn Nets and Chicago Bulls.
“I want to thank Alvin for his contributions to the Pelicans and the New Orleans community,” Pelicans owner Gayle Benson said. “We believe that making a head coaching change is necessary at this time. I truly appreciate Alvin’s leadership, dedication and perseverance through some challenging circumstances over the past five seasons.”
Shawn Stewart is the Founder/CEO of Sports 4 America , you can find him on Twitter @Sports4Stewart