Alvin Gentry, Pelicans Agree to 2-Year Contract Extension

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJune 7, 2018

New Orleans Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry watches play during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs, Thursday, March 15, 2018, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)
Darren Abate/Associated Press

The New Orleans Pelicans announced they have agreed to a two-year contract extension with head coach Alvin Gentry on Thursday.

“We are thrilled to have Alvin as our head coach,” said Pelicans GM Dell Demps. “He did a tremendous job last season. When we faced adversity, Alvin and his staff continually discovered ways to place the team in situations where we could be successful. I want to thank Mrs. Benson for her endless support and look forward to working with Alvin and his coaching staff as we strive to have sustained success.”

The extension will take Gentry's deal through the 2020-21 season.

In three seasons as the Pels' head coach, Gentry is 112-134 with one playoff appearance.

The 63-year-old Gentry is coming off his best season with New Orleans. The Pelicans went 48-34 during the regular season and won a playoff series versus the Portland Trail Blazers—a sweep, no less—before falling to the Golden State Warriors in the second round in five games.

Prior to joining the Pelicans in 2015, Gentry had extensive experience as both an NBA head coach and assistant. He previously served as the head coach of the Miami Heat, Detroit Pistons, Los Angeles Clippers and Phoenix Suns.

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During his head coaching career, Gentry is 447-504 with three playoff appearances in 15 seasons.

His best performance came in 2009-10 with the Suns when Phoenix reached the Western Conference Finals before falling to the Los Angeles Lakers in six games.

In 2017-18, Gentry rode the hot hand of Anthony Davis to the postseason. He also received strong performances from Jrue Holiday, Rajon Rondo and Nikola Mirotic (midseason trade).

The Mirotic trade occurred after center DeMarcus Cousins was lost for the season with a torn Achilles, and New Orleans actually performed better without Cousins, which earned Gentry plenty of accolades.

Cousins will hit free agency this offseason, and while a return to the Pelicans is possible, the fact that Gentry showed he was capable of winning without the All-Star likely contributed to the extension.

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