Monday's introductory press conference lasted about 45 minutes but it was a good watch/listen in case you missed it. First things first, there is no doubt Alvin Gentry is going to change the atmosphere. His first sentence?
Alvin Gentry's first words: "Excuse me, I have to bring up a bottle of water as I've been screaming for the last three weeks."— The Bird Writes (@thebirdwrites) June 22, 2015
After that, Gentry went on to thank Tom and Gayle Benson, who are currently away in Maine, and claimed the Pelicans organization is run like a family.
He next started listing his staff, starting with Darren Erman. Then came Robert Pack and Elvis Valcarcel, a person who Gentry referred to as his 'utility guy.' Gentry has known him since his time in Phoenix and then made a reference to Nick U'Ren, the famous Golden State video man who was credited with suggesting Andre Iguodala start in place of Andrew Bogut during the 2015 NBA Finals.
Once Gentry thanked several other people, including Steve Kerr, he talked about the Pelicans roster, some of their goals for next season and then answered various questions from the media. Throughout the conference, he continually gushed about Anthony Davis (who was not available due to a prior commitment) and believe he and AD will have a great relationship.
- He claimed Davis is the best player in the NBA not named LeBron James
- He said he almost drafted Jrue Holiday while in Phoenix and signed Eric Gordon to an offer sheet in 2012
- The Pelicans will play faster but he emphasized defense several times during the conference. The 2014-15 defense was disappointing, but through improvement on that end, the Pelicans will be able to reap the rewards offensively.
- Much like the Warriors under Steve Kerr, everyone associated with the team will be empowered to give their thoughts, ideas and other input.
- The Pelicans will create a more fun and enjoyable atmosphere. For instance, he stated that the Warriors listened to music everyday so Dell Demps needs to get speakers installed in the practice facilities.
- Darren Erman was hired as the defensive lead because of Gentry's familiarity with Doc Rivers concepts during his time with the Los Angeles Clippers several seasons ago.
- Kevin Hanson and Fred Vinson were retained from Monty's coaching staff for continuity purposes. In a number of opinions, their individual work with both Davis and Tyreke Evans was productive enough that Gentry didn't want to change anything at this time. He made an analogy to a golf instructor whereby it doesn't make sense to have various bits of advice from several sources on a golf swing.
- As for his age, "60 is the new 40. I have a ton of energy. I can still wrestle down my 17-year old."
Gentry: "No one is more deserving than this city (New Orleans) right here."— The Bird Writes (@thebirdwrites) June 22, 2015
Welcome Alvin Gentry!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Now let's get down to business, Coach! pic.twitter.com/RRoRJVgO59— New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) June 22, 2015