In Steve Kerr’s first year as head coach of the Golden State Warriors, he took a talented, but slightly underachieving offensive team (12th in offensive efficiency in 2013-14) and turned it into a beautiful juggernaut (second in 2014-15). Well, when I say Kerr did that, I really mean that Kerr brought Alvin Gentry in to do that as his offensive coordinator. Now that Gentry has been given the reins of the New Orleans Pelicans (and their pterodactyl, Anthony Davis), Kerr told CSN Bay Area that he’ll miss the man he credited the most for Golden State’s phenomenal year.
“He’s on one side of me, [defensive assistant] Ron [Adams] is on the other,” Kerr said. “[Assistant] Luke [Walton] is one step down from there. We’re always talking. But Alvin’s the one I talk to the most … it’s been very collaborative. But he’s been the guy I’ve leaned on the most this year.”
Gentry is one of the best offensive minds in the NBA, and the team he left to join the Warriors with Kerr — the Los Angeles Clippers — was the most productive offense in the NBA the last two seasons (their last one with him and their first one without him). His system, predicated on quick passes, off-ball movement and a pull-the-trigger mentality to shot selection, has produced some of the most fun-to-watch basketball of this NBA generation, starting with his Mike D’Antoni-influenced tenure as head coach of the Phoenix Suns.
Ron Adams was a new arrival to the Warriors this year like Kerr and Gentry, and though he was just as effective as Gentry (the Warriors led the league in defensive efficiency), he appears to be staying put, which is good news for Kerr and Golden State. Though the incredibly talented roster of the Dubs will probably remain one of the league’s best offensive teams next year (teams with the MVP tend to do that), a coaching staff as good as the one Kerr assembled never stays whole for very long, and continuity is one of the best ways to ensure that the kind of success Golden State has had this year continues into the future.
Kerr also stressed Gentry’s experience and guidance as a large factor in his successful transition to being a head coach for the first time. Hopefully he remembers all those lessons, because even though the Warriors made it to the NBA Finals this year, bringing them back will probably be even tougher next year.
(Via CSN Bay Area)