General Manager Dell Demps and the New Orleans Pelicans parted ways with Monty Williams last season, even though Williams led the often injury-depleted team to the playoffs (that brutal Game 3 loss to the Dubs didn’t help matters). The Pelicans hired Alvin Gentry over the summer in the hopes his up-tempo offense and championship experience with the Warriors last season would take the Pelicans to the next level.
Obviously, that didn’t happen. The Pelicans struggled all year with injuries and consistent play; they are now — once more — bound for the lottery. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, the Pelicans’ regression this season had Demps quite loudly second guessing his decision to fire Williams (hat tip to RealGM for the transcription).
“Demps was unhappy with former coach Monty Williams, who did an incredible job with that team a year ago winning 46 games and reaching the playoffs. Williams was fired and Dell Demps hired Alvin Gentry as his coach. Sources tell me that he spent way too much of this year second-guessing his own hire of a head coach, often in very public ways within earshot of players, staff and even opponents.”
It’s fine to have buyer’s remorse, but Demps should know better than to do it publicly, especially in front of his own staff and players. How are Anthony Davis, Jrue Holiday and the rest of the team supposed to believe in their coach when the man who hired him, doesn’t?
Blaming Gentry for the Pelicans’ issues is also absurd. Was it Gentry who robbed the team of their available cap space by signing Alexis Ajinca and Omer Asik to absurd contracts? Was Gentry part of the medical staff that let their franchise, once-in-a-lifetime player continue to play on a torn labrum for multiple seasons?
Gentry deserves better, or at least deserves a more professional environment. As for Demps, he should spend less time second-guessing his decision to fir Williams and use that time to analyze the team’s current contracts and puzzling decisions that have led the Pelicans to their current circumstances.