Over the weekend the New Orleans Pelicans hired Alvin Gentry to be their new head coach. They made the right choice.
This is the second bold move in the space of two weeks for GM Dell Demps, whose decision to fire Monty Williams was one that should have been more loudly applauded. It would have been easy to keep the affable Monty in place following a feel-good postseason berth, but the Pelicans are right to have aspirations that match the transcendent ability of star player Anthony Davis.
With Davis embarking on what could eventually go down as one of the greatest careers of all time, it was essential that the Pelicans chose the right man to lead him. That man, despite his once throwing up on the bench during one of the most important games of his coaching career, is Gentry.
Certainly on the face of it he is an unglamorous hire – a re-tread assistant coach who has won just two playoff series as a head coach in four different stops. Au contraire, Gentry is an offensive mastermind and great communicator with a knack for getting the best out of talented young stars in non-ideal situations. As an assistant he has made colossal contributions and as a head coach he has generally met or exceeded expectations whilst never being blessed with a proposition as promising as New Orleans’ until now.
Since taking the Los Angeles Clippers head coaching job, Doc Rivers has appeared to be constantly on edge.
There are few more common League Pass sights than that of Doc’s shiny, angry, stressed-out face as he screams at officials or barks out instructions to a team that has disappointed in clutch moments more often than not. Indeed, he may well be the sweatiest, angriest head coach in the league.
He is TV gold, a bundle of mostly negative emotion that the cameras cut to at every opportunity – always ripe for a screenshot. At times it looks as if his eyes are ready to pop out of his head. At others he merely looks ready to break down and cry. I worry for his mental state.
“I don’t complain much,” Doc noted after the Clips lost Game 5 of their first round series with San Antonio on Tuesday – apparently with no hint of sarcasm.
Of course, he is in fact one of the biggest serial complainers in the league. It is the team-wide culture of whining and ref-baiting that makes the Clippers the technical foul league-leaders and one of the most detestable squads in the league for many neutrals.
With his team on the brink of elimination tonight in San Antonio, what better time than now to enjoy 30 of the best sweaty-and-stressed Doc screenshots?
The Sacramento Kings last night fired head coach Mike Malone after going 11-13 to start the season, citing underachievement. This is one of the stranger front office decisions in recent NBA history.
The Kings sit just one win out of the playoffs in the brutal West and are on course to win ten more games than they did last season. They are 15th in the league in offensive efficiency and 18th in the league in defensive efficiency despite possessing a deeply-flawed roster that I would rank among the bottom ten in the NBA on both ends. And all this with franchise player DeMarcus Cousins having missed the last nine games.
Prior to Boogie going down with viral meningitis on November 28, they were 9-6 for the season. They were developing an identity. They appeared to have good chemistry. They appeared to be going somewhere. They were overachieving.
They have gone 2-7 since then, but are the decision makers in the Kings front office even aware that Boogie has been out? Do they grasp that their starting lineup currently features Darren Collison and Ryan Hollins? How could they truly believe Malone was underachieving?