The veteran basketball coach, Alvin Gentry, is a known name in the NBA world. He has been serving the NBA since 1980 as a coach and has led five different NBA teams. With over 500 wins in his decades-long coaching career, Gentry currently serves as the Associate Head Coach for the Sacramento Kings in the NBA.
Celebrating four-decade-long tenure in the NBA, let’s look back at all the Alvin Gentry’s coached teams. Let’s further look into Gentry’s roaring success and sudden downfall.
Started As Assistant Coach With Spurs
The veteran NBA coach, Alvin Gentry, has worked with several known names, including Steve Kerr, Gregg Popovich, etc. However, his starting was humble, and he started from the bottom as an assistant coach.
Alvin started his NBA coaching career as an assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs in 1989 under Larry Brown. He worked a season accompanied by Gregg Popovich, Ed Manning, and R.C. Buford as part of Larry Brown‘s assistant coaching personnel for the Spurs as Brown left before the 1988-89 season.
However, after two seasons in San Antonio, Gentry departed to become an L.A. Clippers assistant for the 1990-91 season.
Alvin Gentry’s Time With Miami Heat & Detroit Piston
Gentry’s dedication towards basketball is extraordinary, and despite some embarrassing moments and formidable challenges, he continues to work as a coach to this day. As per his initial career, after Spurs, Gentry worked as an assistant coach for the Miami Heat for three seasons.
Then, Gentry made his way to Detroit following the 1994-95 season and worked for two and a half seasons before labeling the head coach in the 1997-98 season.
Back-to-Back Wins With LA Clippers
Coach Alvin’s coaching background puts him alongside great coaches, including Gregg Popovich, Kevin Loughery, etc. Although he left his role as an assistant to Brown, Gregg, and R.C., they reunited during their time in San Antonio after a season. However, the union was brief as he accepted the head coaching position for the LA Clippers.
Moreover, with the Clippers, Alvin made back-to-back wins in his first two seasons as their head coach. Emphasizing his successes, Alvin led the Clippers to 31 wins and 39 wins, respectively.
Furthermore, those seasons were regarded as one of the solid plays of young players such as Lamar Odom, Elton Brand, etc. However, Alvin couldn’t manage to maintain his victories and got fired in February 2003.
Although fired from his HC post in Clippers, Phoenix saw its opportunity to hold a tremendous skilled person in this team.
Made A Career-High Wins With Phoenix Suns
Aforementioned, Alvin came out of the LA Clippers only to set career-high wins with Phoenix Suns during the 2009-2010 seasons, with 54 wins against 28 losses.
Kings’ coach, Gentry served as an assistant coach for the Phoenix Suns for six years under Mike D’Antoni and Terry Porter. He later figured out the harmony between D’Antoni and Porter’s styles and led the Suns in several games. While talking about Gentry and the Suns, Coach Pop, aka Gregg, observed that they were better defensively than in the past and much more committed and responsible than ever before.
Well, an achievement as a dedicated coach is his leadership, which was reflected in the Sun’s games. Therefore, when named Suns’ head coach, Gentry set a record of 54 wins. They further went on to the Westen Conference Finals but lost to the Lakers in six games. Despite the defeat, he became the fifth head coach in franchise history to lead his team to the finals in his first full session.
Despite the success, Alvin parted ways with the Phoenix Suns in 2013 and returned to the Clippers organization as an associate head coach under Doc Rivers. However, he made a move towards Golden State Warriors after a season with the Clippers.
Two years under GSW’s head coach, Steve Kerr, Alvin marched grabbed opportunities with Pelicans in 2015.
Was Fired As New Orlean Pelicans’ HC After A Disappointing Downfall in August 2020
Aforementioned, Alvin signed a three-year contract with GSW in 2013. However, on May 18, 2015, Golden States allowed Pelicans to interview him for their head coach.
Although Alvin signed with the New Orlean Pelicans on May 30, he remained with the Warriors until the 2015 NBA Finals ended. Well, the monumental victory over Cleveland Cavaliers heightened Warriors’ fame as Gentry’s time with the Pelicans began.
During his five long years with the Pelicans, Gentry went through only one season where the team finished over .500 and losing in the conference semifinals. Although Gentry’s leadership for the Pelicans was questioned, the former Cavalier executive David Griffin recalled ‘the fearless’ Alvin who coached the 2010 Suns to the conference finals.
Unfortunately, the Pelicans and Alvin Gentry limped their way until the 2019 NBA draft surviving several severe injuries. Although plans to use genuine players creatively came in frustration, results were no different. Alvin Gentry was fired as Pelican’s coach followed by the disappointing performance in the NBA Bubble of the 2019-20 season.
Troubled by injuries, New Orleans faced a disappointing loss. Though Gentry was fired, he walked away with the second-most wins in franchise history behind Byron Scott.
Starting With Sacramento Kings Since October 2020
Alvin Gentry’s dismissal was a surprise, even to him, as he was doing his best; however, he tried to understand the teams’ desperation for change. Nevertheless, Sacramento Kings announced him as their Associate Head Coach on October 6th, 2020.
Despite being fired twice, Alvin has only found motivation while maintaining high spirits. Let’s hope Alvin creates another history for himself and the Kings during his time. But before that, you say if Alvin is capable of leading the Sacramento Kings or not?