New Orleans Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry is a man who has been around the NBA for a long, long time.
Starting as an assistant coach with the San Antonio Spurs in 1989, Gentry has been around the league for the past 27 years and has witnessed just about every kind of attack you could hope to see.
From the fabled triangle offence to the perimeter glory the Warriors currently exhibit, there's no one size fits all.
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However, Gentry did enjoy a highly successful decade with the Phoenix Suns between 2003 and 2013, first as an assistant, then as the head coach where they went to three Western Conference finals in nine seasons.
Central to that success was the directive that his Suns teams attempt to get a shot off in seven seconds or less. Such high-tempo, often selfless, offense is rare in today's NBA, but Gentry believes it might well suit his Pelicans.
“No. 1, you’ve got to have good players. Don’t ever underestimate talent,” Gentry said before his New Orleans Pelicans lost to the Suns, his 121-100 on Saturday night. “But you’ve also got to have unselfish players. It started with Steve Nash, and then obviously adding Grant Hill to the mix; Amar'e [Stoudemire] was a really good player. And the system just seemed to fit.”
“We liked playing that way and we were committed to playing that way in Phoenix, so we tried to add players that played that way,” Gentry said. “In order to play that way, you have to have players that are willing to play that way."
'That way' means that there isn't any one focal point in the attack, and somebody like Anthony Davis might need to act as part of a machine rather than a breakaway star.
Would that be the best fit for Davis and the Pelicans?