After assuring us he’s fine physically, Gentry broadcasts an important message: “You know the fact that you’re isolated and quarantined and all of that stuff gets to be very, very old. But, it’s what we have to do in order to get through this. I hope everybody out there is practicing their social distancing.”
The number of COVID-19 cases and related deaths continues to climb every day in the United States. Without a doubt, the best thing every member of the population can do is heed expert advice which starts at staying at home.
Switching to the topic of basketball, Gentry goes on to describe the experience of that suspended game between the Pelicans and Kings, which feels like three months ago to him, and then broadly reviews the ups and downs of the season, praising the players for riding out the 13-game losing streak. He accolades individual improvement — Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball, compliments others for key veteran leadership and production — Jrue Holiday, Derrick Favors and JJ Redick, and points out critical contributions by role players at various times in the season — E’Twaun Moore, Jaxson Hayes and Nicolo Melli. Of course, he also mentions Zion Williamson.
“He’s played at such a high level, and for him it’s been real comfortable because I think our veteran guys have realized what we have in Zion and have really accepted him with open arms and given him an opportunity to be exactly who he is.”
Gentry lets us know that he’s been staying in contact with most of the players through text-messaging because they’ve largely been on their own since all of the closures.
“I text most of our guys. Obviously what they’re trying to do is get themselves in a situation where they can continue to work out and do some things to try to stay in shape. The toughest thing that happens there is that there’s so many places that are closed down – gyms and health clubs and everything have closed down – so a lot of our guys have just ordered some equipment on their own and are doing some things on their own right now. Hopefully, we’re going to be able to get back together and start to work again...It’s been difficult for the guys because they’re so regimented this time of the year. For them to now kind of be on their own – and we can’t do anything with them from an organizational standpoint, but we do try to communicate with them a lot. I know that our trainers and our strength and conditioning guys are in touch with them a lot, just to try to monitor what’s going on with them.”
As for the dream — a resumption of the 2019-20 season — that’s been the topic of conversation for all fans and NBA experts alike for the better part of the last month, and Gentry has a strong belief that it will happen at some point.
“We have a great commissioner and he has a great staff there, so some kind of way this is going to get all worked out. We’ll be able to play basketball again and finish out this season.”
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Head coach Alvin Gentry joins the show to talk about the depth of this team, the environment in the Golden 1 Center on March 11, and more.— PelicansPodcast (@PodcastPelicans) April 1, 2020
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