Alvin Gentry appears to be in a fight to save his job with league sources confirming that he has been told by management that they expect for the team to show signs of progress over the final stretch of the season because the talent issue on the roster has been addressed with the addition of DeMarcus Cousins. According to the Sporting News, no definite decision has made on the future of General Manager Dell Demps either, despite pulling off the blockbuster trade last month to acquire Cousins from the Sacramento Kings.
In the larger sense, though, this might be a crucial week for Gentry’s tenure in New Orleans. A league source told Sporting News that though no definite decision has been made on the future of the tandem of Gentry and general manager Dell Demps with the Pelicans, failure to secure that playoff spot (which has been all but lost) or at least to show “significant progress with this roster as it stands” likely will move the Pelicans to oust Gentry. Demps is more likely to stay, but that’s not a certainty, either.
“There’s some feeling in the front office the record being what it is, the writing is on the wall,” the source said. “Might as well make a change in April and start searching. But is that really fair? Can’t you give Dell an offseason to get some shooters, give Alvin some time to remake the offense? They’ve at least got to give this playoff spot a run and that might buy more time. That’s sort of where it stands.”
One issue in replacing Gentry could be the lack of top candidates on the coaching market now. Gentry has one more year on this contract, worth around $3.3 million, and hasn’t really gotten a chance to coach a full, healthy Pelicans team. If the Pelicans were to make a change, speculation is that the team would prefer to bring in a combination team president/coach. There are few coaches on the market who would warrant a dual job, though.
Shaqtin' A Fool: A Pelicans fan handcuffed himself to the Smoothie King Center to let it be known he wants Alvin Gentry fired. #Shaqtin ⛓🗝 pic.twitter.com/uEQkPS76lM
"I really don't give a s--- about my job status," Gentry told reporters. "I'm gonna work hard, and I'm gonna coach until the day they tell me I'm not the coach here anymore. It doesn't matter. I don't ever worry about that. That is not anything that I spend five seconds worrying about. My worry is that, 'How do I get the guys in the locker room to play at the level that I want 'em to?' That's where all my effort goes. It doesn't go anywhere else."
Scott Kushner: Dell Demps: I feel like we are tied at the hip and we are in this thing together. #Pelicans
Pelicans GM Dell Demps has expressed reservations on numerous occasions this season about last year’s decision to hire Alvin Gentry as coach, making his doubts known to some of the team’s players and staff, and to opponents as well, sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical for a video report. It was Demps who originally chose Gentry for the job, as Wojnarowski casts it, though confusion exists over whether Demps or executive vice president of basketball operations Mickey Loomis is in control of the front office, as Zach Lowe of ESPN.com touched on in a trade deadline report.
The possibility of the Pelicans dumping Gentry exists, though it is slim. He will most likely be back in New Orleans to start next year. But if things don’t turn around then, his teenager will hardly be the only one criticizing him.
September 21, 2021 | 9:35 pm EDT Update
Landry Shamet: Happy Retirement my friend. Showed me what it meant to be a pro the first day I met you. Forever grateful for you taking me under your wing. Thank you @jj_redick ✊🏽❤️ pic.twitter.com/Fw997NAglH
Keith Smith: Kevin Pangos got part of the Non-Taxpayer MLE from the Cleveland Cavaliers in a two-year deal: 21-22: $1,669,178 22-23: $1,752,637 Second season is fully non-guaranteed, becoming fully guaranteed on on the league-wide date of 1/10/22. @spotrac
Shams Charania: LeBron James organizing Lakers team minicamp in Las Vegas ahead of training camp – a similar chemistry-building function to the one hosted before the 2020 title season. Details: pic.twitter.com/Z9c4JnSW1E
The Vertical: Steph and Ayesha Curry renewed their wedding vows and their daughter Riley officiated 💕 (via @ayeshacurry) pic.twitter.com/UuqD0NruCc