Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry has been cleared to travel with his team to the NBA’s Walt Disney World campus, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter). According to Andrew Lopez of ESPN (Twitter link), Gentry received the call from the NBA today just minutes before the Pelicans were set to board their plane to Orlando.
Gentry, who is 65 years old, is one of the head coaches who has received extra scrutiny from team doctors and the NBA due to potentially heightened health risks if he contracts the coronavirus. The restart agreement gives the league the right to prohibit certain red-flagged individuals from accompanying their teams to Disney.
The NBA has assured coaches they won’t be red-flagged based on their ages alone. However, if there are also underlying health issues that will put them at greater risk, they can be held out of the restart — that was the case for Lakers assistant Lionel Hollins, for instance.
Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich, 71, is expected to travel to the NBA campus on Thursday, per Mike Finger of The San Antonio Express-News. Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni, 69, also said this week that he hasn’t heard anything suggesting he’ll be prohibited from heading to Orlando (Twitter link via Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle). D’Antoni is still waiting the official OK from the league, but there’s optimism he’ll get it, tweets Wojnarowski.
While the Pelicans got good news on Gentry, the club will be without associate head coach Jeff Bzdelik won’t be with the club this summer. He decided to stay in New Orleans and work remotely after consulting with team doctors and CDC regulations.
In addition to Bzdelik, the Pelicans will be missing assistant Jamelle McMillan, who is staying behind to care for his newborn son, according to Lopez (Twitter link).