METAIRIE, La. (AP) — Alvin Gentry apologized for a raspy voice during his introductory news conference Monday as coach of the New Orleans Pelicans.
It has been, after all, just a few days since he spent nearly three weeks coaching in the NBA Finals, where he was an assistant for the champion Golden State Warriors.
He hopes his voice is just as raspy a year from now.
“I’d like nothing more for us as Pelicans to have a parade right down Canal Street and enjoy it, too,” Gentry said. “That’s our goal here and I think it’s very attainable.”
Gentry officially was announced as the sixth head coach in New Orleans on May 30. But because of his role on the Warriors coaching staff, he couldn’t fully focus how to get budding star Anthony Davis and his cast of teammates to the next level.
That wasn’t the case, however, during his interviews with Pelicans general manager Dell Demps in mid-May.
The 60-year-old who has coached four other franchises – Miami, Detroit, the Clippers and Phoenix – came prepared with charts, analytics and beliefs in how to get the Pelicans past the first round of the Western Conference playoffs. Gentry’s Warriors pushed New Orleans out this season 4-0 in the opening round.
“He had a great understanding of our team along with a vision of how he would coach this team,” Demps said. “It was very clear that Alvin was the right person for the Pelicans and the New Orleans community.”