The New Orleans Pelicans continue to throw their hat in the ring for biggest dumpster fire of the league’s young season.
Off-court drama has surrounded the Sacramento Kings this week, which has distracted from their three-game slide. But this time it wasn’t the players that were the source of the drama; it was their assistant coach Alvin Gentry.
According to Jack Fischer of Bleacher Report, Gentry had a verbal altercation with David Griffin, the executive vice president of basketball operations for the New Orleans Pelicans and Gentry’s old boss.
Following their 112-109 loss to the Sacramento Kings on Oct. 29, Griffin reportedly approached Gentry at the Smoothie King Center but Gentry ignored his advance because he thought it was “inauthentic.” From there, the situation escalated:
Gentry responded with his own choice words, noting how his eventual replacement, Stan Van Gundy, who was also fired after one season in New Orleans, finished just one game better (31-41) than the Pelicans did under Gentry (30-42) the year he was let go. “You must not have given Stan the answers to the test, either,” Gentry shouted at Griffin, according to multiple sources, and the two men had to be separated.
The bad blood between Gentry and Griffin can be traced back to a NOLA.com report from September, which said that Griffin would tell opposing executives that he gave “all the answers to the test” to no avail. Griffin denied that he ever used that expression, but Fischer confirmed that report with his sources.
The Pelicans are now on their third coach of Griffin’s tenure, as Willie Green took over following the “mutual parting of ways” with Stan Van Gundy. Gentry was the head coach of the Pelicans for five seasons, steering them to a Western Conference semifinals and a 48-win season in 2018-19, which is still the third-highest win total in Pelicans history.
As more dirty laundry continues to come out in the wash, things aren’t looking good for the Pels this season both on and off the court. One thing is for certain: Griffin’s tenure is up in the air, as his time in New Orleans might be running thin.