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The Bird Calls Podcast Ep. 132: Breaking down latest on DeMarcus Cousins, Gentry’s extension and explaining GM Demps greatest challenge ahead

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Who will blink first between Boogie and Dell?

NBA: New Orleans Pelicans at Miami Heat Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

DeMarcus Cousins remains the focal point of the New Orleans Pelicans offseason, but for the first time since the playoff run ended back on May 8th (Game 5 of the second round), the Pelicans have something to celebrate.

In addition to the offseason accolades received by Jrue Holiday and Anthony Davis, the Pelicans announced some good news in the form of an extension to Head Coach Alvin Gentry. His two-year extension ties him to the end of Davis’ contract, and gives the Pelicans and their front office some stability they haven’t had in quite some time.

“We are thrilled to have Alvin as our head coach,” said General Manager Dell Demps. “He did a tremendous job last season. When we faced adversity, Alvin and his staff continually discovered ways to place the team in situations where we could be successful. I want to thank Mrs. Benson for her endless support and look forward to working with Alvin and his coaching staff as we strive to have sustained success.”

That he did. Alvin Gentry has had no easy task in his brief three-year tenure in New Orleans. After Monty Williams’ playoff run in the 2014/15 season, Gentry was met with a historic feat of injury misfortune. 352 games lost to injury crippled the Pelicans’ hope of a repeat playoff appearance.

After losing Eric Gordon and Ryan Anderson in free agency to Houston, the Pelicans replaced them with Solomon Hill, E’Twaun Moore and Langston Galloway, and in 2016/17, Gentry essentially coached three different teams:

  • A team led by Tim Frazier due to the hospitalization of Jrue Holiday’s wife, Lauren.
  • The midseason run with Jrue Holiday in the fold.
  • The remaining 25 games of the season with big man DeMarcus Cousins.

Then on January 26th, 2018, just as last season’s group was coming together, Gentry got bit by injury luck yet again, but you all know the rest of the story from there.

Kudos to a man who never gave up, who always wears a smile on his face, who accepted highly regarded assistants Darren Erman and Chris Finch onto his staff with open arms, and who graced us with this post Rockets’ game tirade:

Next, the Bird Calls team discuss Cousins and the probability of losing him to free agency next month. Kevin Barrios comments on his terrific article involving a sign-and-trade that would net Kelly Oubre, Marcin Gortat, Jason Smith and Tomas Satoransky in exchange for the All-Star big man.

Oleh Kosel and David Grubb proceed to talk about the likelihood of DeMarcus choosing the Dallas Mavericks, should they be able to reload in the draft this upcoming June 21st.

Or is it the Los Angeles Lakers who may be the greatest challenger for the services of the former Wildcat. While the Lakers will certainly go all in on their chase of LeBron James, should they strike out, Paul George and DeMarcus Cousins could be a nice consolation prize. Both Lakers Nation and Silver Screen and Roll predicted Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka going all in on free agency this summer here and here.

Then we transition to Summer League where the Pelicans announced that Kevin Hanson, and not Jamelle McMillan, will quarterback the Pelicans at the Thomas and Mack Center. However, David Grubb and Oleh Kosel says it’s much about nothing, as Darren Erman coached the team three years ago and was then followed by Robert Pack.

Finally, we wrap things up by analyzing the National Anthem protests in the NFL and Goodell’s latest ruling. The stark contrast between the freedom of the players to speak their mind and the close-lipped style of the most profitable league in the world to the NBA is puzzling to say the least.

And as always, thank you for listening and to Brandon Robinson, David, Oleh and Kevin for joining me in breaking down DeMarcus Cousins free agency from various angles! If you like what you’re reading/hearing please retweet our podcast, and subscribe to iTunes, Stitcher, Podbean, Google Play, TuneIn, and wherever podcasts are found!