Pelicans' Alvin Gentry: COVID-19 Fears Won't 'Stop Me From Doing My Job One Bit'

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMay 18, 2020

New Orleans Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Miami Heat in New Orleans, Friday, March 6, 2020. (AP Photo/Rusty Costanza)
Rusty Costanza/Associated Press

New Orleans Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry said the prevalence of COVID-19 will "not stop me from doing my job one bit," per Marc Stein of the New York Times.

The Center for Disease Control has stated people 65 and older might be at higher risk for severe illness from the coronavirus. Gentry turned 65 in November and is one of the three oldest coaches in the NBA.

Despite the risk, Gentry plans to remain in his role if the 2019-20 season does resume.

"I'm going to approach it with caution, but I will be immersed in it totally from a competitive standpoint and everything else," Gentry said, per Stein.

The 2019-20 NBA season has been suspended since mid-March amid the coronavirus pandemic, and no date has been announced for a return.

Gentry's Pelicans were 28-36 before the hiatus and were 3.5 games out of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. They had also gained momentum after Zion Williamson returned from his early-season knee injury.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver recently held a meeting with the league's board of governors, who were reportedly optimistic about the season returning as well as the "league's progress toward minimizing health risk upon a return," according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Stars like LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo also reportedly held a call to form a "united front" to resume the season, per Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.

Though some players are more vulnerable to the disease than others, including Cleveland Cavaliers forward Larry Nance Jr., coaches and older staff remain a greater concern health-wise.

According to the CDC, 74.5 percent of patients who required hospitalization from COVID-19 in March were at least 50 years old.