Sacramento Kings head coach Luke Walton got his guy. The team announced on Wednesday that former New Orleans Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry would be joining the Kings as their new associate head coach for the 2020-21 season.
Gentry, 65, has previously held five head coaching positions in the NBA including time with the Miami Heat, Detroit Pistons, Los Angeles Clippers, Phoenix Suns, and the Pelicans. He and Walton were both assistant coaches under Steve Kerr during the Golden State Warriors’ 2015 NBA championship title run.
Known for his up-tempo and creative offensive coaching style, Gentry should fit right in with the young Kings’ desire to run and gun with starting point guard De’Aaron Fox. His philosophy also meshes with new GM Monte McNair’s plans to pick up the pace next season.
“I’m excited to add Alvin’s valuable experience and leadership to the team,” said Walton. “His veteran coaching perspective will be a great addition and I look forward to working with him again to continue developing our group.”
Gentry steps in to fill the spot vacated by former associate head coach Igor Kokoskov who left Sacramento last summer to take over the head coaching duties of European powerhouse Fenerbahçe in the Turkish league.
Many may think Alvin is the obvious heir apparent to Luke as the team’s next head coach, but he hasn’t really shown the ability to build and maintain a winning team in the NBA. He was unable to take advantage of four seasons with superstar Anthony Davis in New Orleans, and rookie sensation Zion Williamson fizzled out at the end of the season prompting Pelicans’ management to look elsewhere for their next head coach.
Either way you look at it, The Kings landed a quality coach and will benefit from his extensive experience and respect across the league.