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Alvin Gentry back on top as Pelicans head coach

Golden State Warriors assistant coach and offensive guru Alvin Gentry will serve as the head coach of the New Orleans Pelicans next season, the team announced Saturday.

Gentry will become the sixth head coach in franchise history, and will rejoin the ranks of NBA head coaches for the first time since 2013.

Gentry commented briefly via statement on the new job, and that he remains primarily focused on preparing for the upcoming NBA Finals:

“I’m truly honored for the opportunity to lead the Pelicans as their head coach and am anxious to get started. … Until then, my complete focus for the next two-plus weeks will be with the Warriors and the NBA Finals. We’ve had an incredible season under Steve Kerr’s leadership in the Bay Area, but still have a lot of work to do as we prepare for the Cavaliers and a tough series.”

As the lead strategist behind a Warriors offense that ranked near the top of every statistical category, Gentry’s return to head coach comes as no surprise. This will be the fifth coaching stint for Gentry, who previously served as head coach for the Miami Heat (1994-95), Detroit Pistons (1997-00), Los Angeles Clippers (2000-03) and Phoenix Suns (2008-13).

Phoenix is where Gentry made his name as one of the league’s innovative offensive minds, with the 2009-10 Suns leading the NBA in scoring en route to an appearance in the Western Conference finals.

Gentry sees his stock at an all-time high after the Warriors finished second in offensive efficiency in 2014-2015 with few changes to a roster that finished 12th last season. Along with rookie head coach Steve Kerr and defensive specialist Ron Adams, Gentry has been a part one of the league’s most effective coaching trios.

Gentry will lead a young up and coming Pelicans roster that includes Anthony Davis, who at 22 years old is already considered one of the best players in the NBA.

Pelicans owner Tom Benson said he is thrilled to have Gentry join the organization:

“He has proven himself as a winner and is in the midst of helping the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals. We look forward to having him lead our team.”

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