MAY 29TH, 7:30pm: Gentry was in New Orleans today for a second interview with the team, Fletcher Mackel of WDSU NBC New Orleans tweets. Van Gundy is also still in contention for the job, Mackel adds.
MAY 22ND, 6:04pm: The Pelicans interviewed Van Gundy on Tuesday, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports. The two sides had previously spoken over the phone, but this was the first face-to-face meeting, Wojnarowski’s sources relayed.
10:16pm: Van Gundy has expressed interest in coaching the Pelicans, Marc Stein of ESPN.com tweets.
MAY 21ST, 12:50pm: Gentry sees the chance to coach Davis as career-defining and is “more than interested” in the job, a source close to Gentry told John Reid of The Times-Picayune. The source pointed to clear indications that Gentry will meet again with Pelicans management after the season is over for the Warriors, Reid adds. New Orleans wants a coach who’ll install an exciting, up-tempo attack while further developing Davis, Reid hears from league sources, and Gentry’s last NBA head coaching gig came with the fast-paced Steve Nash-era Suns.
8:34pm: Gentry is being interviewed by Pelicans president Mickey Loomis and GM Dell Demps tonight in San Francisco, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Gentry, who was granted permission by the Warriors to interview in between playoff series, will try to sell the Pelicans’ brass on offensive strategies that he would institute to expand Anthony Davis‘ game, Wojnarowski continues. Loomis is also interested in Thibodeau, who is waiting to hear from the Bulls about his future with the franchise, but Demps isn’t as sold on the hard-edged Chicago coach after having endured much internal conflict with former coach Monty Williams, Wojnarowski hears. The Pelicans have also made calls on Jeff Van Gundy and have an interest in Scott Brooks, Wojnarowski adds.
5:11pm: There was a lot of talk at the combine that the Pelicans would be hesitant to give up compensation to Chicago in return for the Bulls allowing them to hire Thibodeau, Johnson reports (Twitter link). That doesn’t mean the team will necessarily hire Gentry instead, but it supports the idea that the Pelicans will wait to see how things shake out between the Bulls and Thibs, Johnson tweets.
4:40pm: The Bulls and Thibodeau are still operating as though Thibs remains Chicago’s coach, Stein writes in a full story. Stein still says the sides are widely expected to part ways. It’s unclear just when Gentry’s interview with the Pelicans will take place, Stein notes.
MAY 18TH, 4:15pm: The Pelicans have received permission from the Warriors to interview assistant coach Alvin Gentry, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Most of the reports regarding the New Orleans vacancy have centered on Tom Thibodeau, so it appears the Pels are expanding their base of candidates. Gentry is reportedly a front-runner for Chicago should the Bulls part ways with Thibodeau, so perhaps the Pelicans’ interest in Gentry is brinksmanship of sorts to entice the Bulls to let Thibs go for minimal compensation, though that’s just my speculation.
Gentry has reportedly drawn interest from the Nuggets and Magic, too, as he helps head coach Steve Kerr guide the Warriors toward a title. The sought-after candidate has made it clear he enjoys coaching in Golden State even though he’d like to return to a head coaching capacity. Gentry is a veteran of parts of 12 seasons as an NBA head coach with the Heat, Pistons, Clippers and Suns. He took Phoenix, where he made his last head coaching stop, to the Western Conference Finals in 2009. Gentry left a job as an assistant for the New Orleans franchise, then known as the Hornets, after one season in 2004 to join Mike D’Antoni‘s staff with the Suns, as Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic points out (on Twitter).
New Orleans was reportedly waiting for clarity on Thibodeau’s situation with the Bulls as of last week. There’s apparent mutual interest between Thibs and the Pelicans, and a pair of reports Friday indicated that if he’s not coaching in Chicago, he’ll most likely end up on the Pelicans bench. However, his contract with the Bulls runs through 2016/17, so Chicago controls his fate if he wants to coach in the NBA anytime soon. Thibodeau isn’t about to walk away from the money remaining on his deal, according to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune (Twitter link), an amount Stein last week pegged at close to $9MM. Still, Johnson suggests it’s possible that Thibodeau will sit out next season if the Bulls indeed decide to go with someone else.