There aren't many people around the NBA that Steve Kerr respects more than Alvin Gentry. It's no surprise Kerr believes Gentry is a great addition to the Kings' coaching staff, but what exactly will the veteran basketball mind bring to Sacramento?
“Every day Alvin’s laughing and smiling, he’s just got a great outlook,” Kerr said to The Athletic's Jason Jones. “So you never come into work and see Alvin in a bad mood. So when you come into work and he’s got that smile on his face and he’s telling a funny story and everybody’s getting ready for practice, he’s uplifting to a group and that really matters because it’s a stressful environment that we all work in.”
After five seasons as the New Orleans Pelicans' head coach, Gentry joins Luke Walton's staff as an assistant coach for the 2020-21 season. He's replacing Igor Kokoskov, who left the Kings to take over European powerhouse Fenerbahçe during the summer. Gentry and Walton have history together, too.
Both spent the 2014-15 season together on Kerr's Warriors staff when they won an NBA championship.
Gentry has a 510-595 record as a head coach, including stops with the Miami Heat, Detroit Pistons, Los Angeles Clippers, Phoenix Suns and Pelicans. Kerr believes his past experiences with minds like Doug Collins and Mike D’Antoni will be perfect for Walton and the Kings.
“That’s what you look for in a staff, these historical connections and how they can blend together,” Kerr said. “And Alvin is just really good making these connections and helping an offense find a really good rhythm and groove.
"I think that’s what he’s going to help bring to Luke and Sacramento.”
The Kings' long playoff drought continued this season. Walton certainly hopes Gentry's experience and ability to connect with young players will help. The health of players like De'Aaron Fox and Marvin Bagley obviously will be key, too.
As the Warriors look be to be contenders once again with a healthy Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, the Kings are trying to get over the hump and Kerr believes Gentry is the perfect man for the job.