Alvin Gentry Rumors
Almost from the beginning, however, nothing has gone according to plan. Zion Williamson missed much of his first season after a preseason knee injury. The relationship with coach Alvin Gentry, whose contract he had extended upon arrival, almost immediately became rocky. At a November 2019 game in Phoenix, I watched as Griffin left his seat during a timeout, went to the bench and whispered something to trainer Aaron Nelson, who then walked over to Gentry and said something, who then signaled for a substitution. Sources say this was not the only time this happened.
Van Gundy was a polar opposite from previous coach Alvin Gentry. Van Gundy emphasized defense, became visibly upset any time the Pelicans turned the ball over on fast breaks, and was more concerned with Xs and Os minutiae than personal relationships. Many players did not adapt well to such an abrupt change. “It was definitely different,” reserve wing Josh Hart said. “It wasn’t the easiest transition.”
Keith Smith: Next Celtics coach odds per @betonline_ag: Jay Larranaga 3/1, Jason Kidd 5/1, Chauncey Billups 6/1, Lloyd Pierce 6/1, Sam Cassell 7/1, Kenny Atkinson 10/1, Ime Udoka 10/1, Jarron Collins 12/1, Alvin Gentry 12/1, Nate McMillan 12/1, Mike D’Antoni 14/1, Becky Hammon 14/1, Jeff Van Gundy 14/1
Van Gundy isn’t Alvin Gentry. The former Pelicans coach who prioritized player freedom, offense and rest was a 180-degree difference from the style Van Gundy arrived with. And those differences are largely why Van Gundy was a logical choice to replace Gentry last offseason.
But sources with knowledge of the Kings’ plans say Walton is not in any imminent trouble and — barring a complete nose-dive in the second half — is likely to last at least through this season. There is a strong sense in coaching circles that Kings associate head coach Alvin Gentry would likely take over if Walton were eventually dismissed, but that time does not appear to be coming anytime soon. Sources say Walton, who was hired by former general manager Vlade Divac in mid-April of 2019, is owed a combined $11.5 million in the next two seasons of his four-year guaranteed deal.
And while he was brought in by Griffin to serve as a playoff-tested cultural leader, Alvin Gentry’s coaching staff even lobbied the front office to move on from him last season, sources said. There’s now a widespread sense New Orleans is hoping to move Redick to a franchise closer to his family in Brooklyn. “I think they’re just trying to do right by him,” said a league source close to the situation.