Alvin Gentry has to be feeling pretty good right about now. He survived what was a tenuous season with the New Orleans Pelicans in which Anthony Davis asked for a trade that never came, putting the franchise in the unusual position of having a superstar they didn’t want to play for fear of an injury that hurt his trade value.
The inability to trade Davis in-season essentially cost Dell Demps his job in New Orleans, and that brought in David Griffin to clean things up and find a new direction for the franchise. That first step came by way of ping pong ball, with the Pelicans winning the Draft Lottery and the chance to take Zion Williamson with the first pick earlier in the week. And, indeed, Griffin also traded Davis before the Draft, with a huge haul of picks and players coming his way.
That trade was expanded further on draft night on Thursday, and the consensus is that Griffin did great work in maximizing value for Davis in what was a tough situation. And it seems he got the approval of his head coach as well. Alvin Gentry, who reportedly inked a contract extension this offseason, was asked about the Davis trade and seemed pretty keen on what went down.
“That’s a haul… folks,” Gentry said when asked about the deal. If you’re not catching the reference that was mentioned at the end of the video, it seems that Gentry is teasing Davis a bit here, too. He famously wore a “That’s All, Folks” Looney Toons shirt to what was his final game as a Pelican.
It was these moments, and the uncertainty of his status that Gentry had to coach through, that made him publicly express his frustration with things a number of times throughout the season. He was about as frank as an active coach has ever been about a strange contract situation, at one point calling it a “dumpster fire.”
But as the last week has shown, Griffin is making strides as general manager to bring the team out of the pit it got itself into over the last season. And with reports that these roster moves are being made with Gentry’s coaching style in mind, it’s got to be quite a relief to have all of this over and done with.
Gentry, it seems, is quite pleased by the results. And coincidentally, there’s already a t-shirt out there with an AD-trade twist on the Looney Tunes slogan available for purchase.