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Alvin Gentry remains huge believer in talents of Lonzo Ball

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The former head coach of the New Orleans Pelicans continues to show support for the much-maligned point guard

New Orleans Pelicans v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

Alvin Gentry may no longer be the head coach of the New Orleans Pelicans, but that fact hasn’t stopped him from from sitting solidly in the corner of Lonzo Ball.

In a comment to the following post containing ten pictures of Ball made by the Pelicans official Instagram account yesterday, Gentry wrote, “Keep up the grind. You’re on your way to greatness. Never doubt that!!!”

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If you’re not aware, Gentry has always been one of Ball’s staunchest advocates.

Well before the Anthony Davis trade was executed with the Lakers, I can vividly recall Gentry speaking fondly of the young point guard to local media privately at times. He also admitted this fact in recorded interviews once Ball arrived in New Orleans.

“I’ve been a fan of Zo since he came in the league,” Gentry said following a February win over the Cavaliers.

While Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram proved they should be considered organizational cornerstones, Lonzo Ball had a roller coaster of a year, starting the season slowly, finding his footing in late December and playing well up until the COVID-19 NBA suspension, and then struggling in the Orlando restart of games. However, Gentry never lost confidence in his 22-year-old floor general as evidenced by his remarks earlier this month inside the bubble.

“He was playing very good basketball before this happens,” Gentry said following a loss to the Spurs on August 9 where Ball finished with five points on 2-10 shooting. “He’ll get back. He’ll come back. This is a kid that wants to be a good player. He works at being a good player, just had a pretty rough go down here. I don’t think any of us as coaches have lost confidence in him at all.”

Alvin Gentry may currently sit unemployed in the league, but don’t be surprised if that changes in the near future. There’s a reason he’s spent 31 straight seasons on the sidelines in some coaching capacity. Not only is he renowned for his offensive brilliance, Gentry’s always been a big proponent of current and former players — and hey, he’s just a damn good guy in general.

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.