Alvin Gentry on Pelicans Job Security: 'I'm the Coach Until I'm Not the Coach'

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistAugust 10, 2020

New Orleans Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry watches during the first half of the team's 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 kept things simple when he asked about his job security Monday.

"I told you guys, I don't ever worry about anything like that," he told reporters. "I'm the coach until I'm not the coach, and I act accordingly."

He is still the coach for now even though the Pelicans were eliminated from playoff contention Sunday following their loss to the San Antonio Spurs and the Portland Trail Blazers' victory over the Philadelphia 76ers.

This has been a disappointing season for the Pelicans even acknowledging the fact that rookie star Zion Williamson missed significant time with injuries.

They had an opportunity to make a playoff run at Walt Disney World Resort when the season restarted, especially with the possibility of a play-in tournament if the Western Conference's No. 9 seed was within four games of the No. 8 seed. However, the Pels have gone 2-4 in Florida.

Young talent is not an issue with the combination of Williamson, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, Lonzo Ball and others. Veteran leadership is not a problem either with Jrue Holiday and JJ Redick. Yet it never fully came together for the 30-40 team, even if the future remains bright.

This is Gentry's fifth season as the New Orleans head coach, and he is 175-223 with just one playoff appearance. The Pelicans did sweep the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round of the 2018 playoffs before losing to the Golden State Warriors, but they have yet to maximize their talent, which included Anthony Davis for a time.

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Gentry has also been the head coach for the Miami Heat, Detroit Pistons, Los Angeles Clippers and Phoenix Suns and has a 510-593 overall record.

This season's Pelicans will play out the string with two seeding games to go. They face the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday and the Orlando Magic on Thursday.