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New Orleans Pelicans fire Alvin Gentry, focused on Ty Lue, Jason Kidd, Kenny Atkinson and Jacque Vaughn as possible replacements

The end of an era

2020 NBA Restart - All Access Practice Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

Alvin Gentry’s tenure with the New Orleans Pelicans has come to an end.

First reported by Adrian Wojnarowski and Andrew Lopez, Gentry was dismissed this morning by the organization despite having one remaining year left on his contract.

The Pelicans posted a 30-42 record this season, punctuated by a very disappointing 2-6 NBA restart performance in Orlando. Greater things were expected of Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram and the rest of the Pelicans inside the bubble.

Gentry leaves New Orleans with an overall record of 175-225 (.438 winning percentage), finding the playoffs (2017-18) once in five seasons.

“I’m grateful for and appreciative of Alvin’s commitment to the organization and, most importantly, the local community,” said Griffin. “The City of New Orleans is richer because of his presence here. These types of moves are often about fit and timing, and we believe now is the right time to make this change and bring in a new voice.”

“I want to thank Alvin for his contributions to the Pelicans and the New Orleans community,” said Pelicans Owner Gayle Benson. “We believe that making a head coaching change is necessary at this time. I truly appreciate Alvin’s leadership, dedication and perseverance through some challenging circumstances over the past five seasons. He will always be a part of our Pelicans family, and we wish him and his family all the best in the future. Our intention moving forward is to find the right head coach that will guide this Pelicans team to compete for championships. That is what our fans deserve.”

According to ESPN reporting, initial rumors have Ty Lue, Jason Kidd, Kenny Atkinson and Jacque Vaughn — if the Brooklyn Nets fail to retain him — as the early frontrunners to fill the Pelicans head coaching vacancy.

Among those coaches expected to be part of the Pelicans search: Lakers assistant Jason Kidd, Clippers assistant Ty Lue and former Nets coach Kenny Atkinson, sources said. The Pelicans are also expected to have an interest in Brooklyn interim coach Jacque Vaughn, should the Nets decide not to retain him, sources said.

Stay tuned for further developments, including a podcast posting sometime later tonight.

For more Pelicans talk, subscribe to The Bird Calls podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow this author on Twitter at @OlehKosel.