Alvin Gentry

Alvin Harris Gentry (born November 5, 1954) is an American professional basketball coach. A former college basketball player, Gentry has led six different NBA teams. He served as an interim head coach for the Miami Heat at the end of the 1994–95 season, and later coached the Detroit Pistons, Los Angeles Clippers, Phoenix Suns, New Orleans Pelicans and Sacramento Kings.

Alvin Gentry
Alvin Gentry in 2015.jpg
Gentry in 2015
Personal information
Born (1954-11-05) November 5, 1954 (age 67)
Shelby, North Carolina
Listed height6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Listed weight218 lb (99 kg)
Career information
High schoolShelby (Shelby, North Carolina)
CollegeAppalachian State (1973–1977)
PositionPoint guard
Coaching career1980–present
Career history
As coach:
1980–1981Baylor (assistant)
1981–1986Colorado (assistant)
1986–1988Kansas (assistant)
19881990San Antonio Spurs (assistant)
1990–1991Los Angeles Clippers (assistant)
19911995Miami Heat (assistant)
1995Miami Heat
19951997Detroit Pistons (assistant)
19981999Detroit Pistons
20002003Los Angeles Clippers
2003–2004New Orleans Hornets (assistant)
20042008Phoenix Suns (assistant)
20082012Phoenix Suns
2013–2014Los Angeles Clippers (associate HC)
2014–2015Golden State Warriors (associate HC)
20152020New Orleans Pelicans
20202021Sacramento Kings (associate HC)
2021–2022Sacramento Kings (interim HC)
Career highlights and awards
As assistant coach

Early and personal lifeEdit

Gentry was born in Shelby, North Carolina, where he grew up and attended Shelby High School. His first cousin is former NC State and NBA star David Thompson.

Gentry played college basketball at Appalachian State University, where he was a point guard under Press Maravich and Bobby Cremins. In 1978 he spent one year as a graduate assistant at the University of Colorado. After one year working in private business, he returned to the bench when he received his first full-time collegiate assistant coaching job at Baylor University under Jim Haller in 1980. After one year at Baylor, Gentry returned to the University of Colorado as an assistant coach from 1981–1986 under Tom Apke. From 1986–1989, Gentry served as an assistant at the University of Kansas under Larry Brown, where they won the 1988 NCAA National Championship.[1]

Gentry has been married twice and is the father of two sons and one daughter.[1]

Coaching careerEdit

Early careerEdit

In 1989, Gentry began his NBA coaching career as an assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs under Larry Brown.[1]

Gentry joined Gregg Popovich, R. C. Buford, and Ed Manning as part of Larry Brown's assistant coaching staff for the Spurs when Brown left Kansas before the 1988–89 NBA season. After two seasons in San Antonio, Gentry left to become an assistant for the Los Angeles Clippers beginning in the 1990–91 season.

Miami Heat and Detroit PistonsEdit

For the 1991 season Gentry joined Kevin Loughery's staff as an assistant coach for the Miami Heat, where he coached for three seasons. He then moved to Detroit following the 1994–95 season where he served as an assistant for two and a half seasons before being named head coach late in the 1997–98 season.

LA ClippersEdit

Gentry returned to San Antonio as head assistant coach following the 1999–2000 season, where he was reunited with former co-assistants Gregg Popovich (the Spurs head coach and vice president of basketball operations) and R .C. Buford (the Spurs' general manager). But that assignment was brief, as Gentry accepted the head coaching position for the Los Angeles Clippers weeks after taking the San Antonio job. He led the Clippers to 31 wins and 39 wins respectively in his first two seasons as their head coach. Those seasons were marked by the solid play of young players, such as Darius Miles, Elton Brand and Lamar Odom. In Gentry's third season, however, the team regressed (despite the addition of Andre Miller), and Gentry was fired in February 2003.[citation needed]

Phoenix SunsEdit

Gentry in 2009

Gentry later became an assistant coach for the Phoenix Suns for six years, serving under head coaches Mike D'Antoni and Terry Porter. When Porter was fired in his first season as head coach, Alvin Gentry took over on an interim basis. He was named Suns' head coach for the 2009–10 season. Gentry's record in his first year as head coach during the 2009–2010 season was 54 wins, a career high, against 28 losses. The Suns advanced to the Western Conference Finals and lost to the Lakers in six games. He became the fifth head coach in franchise history to lead his team to a Western Conference Finals berth in his first full season.[citation needed] Gentry figured out how to blend the two styles of D'Antoni and Porter. Comparing his coaching to D'Antoni, Gentry said "We are not seven seconds or less. We're 12 seconds or under. We don't take a lot of really quick shots. We don't play with that breakneck pace. We play with a rhythm." Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich remarked "One thing about Phoenix is they are better defensively than in the past. They're much more active, much more committed, they've taken responsibility to a much more significant degree than ever before."[2][3]

On January 18, 2013, Gentry mutually parted ways with the Phoenix Suns.[4] In July 2013, he returned to the Clippers organization, taking the title of associate head coach, making him Doc Rivers' lead assistant.[5]

Golden State WarriorsEdit

After one season with the Clippers, Gentry signed a three-year contract as associate head coach for the Golden State Warriors, working under new head coach Steve Kerr.[6]

New Orleans PelicansEdit

On May 18, 2015, the New Orleans Pelicans were granted permission by the Warriors to interview Gentry for their head coaching vacancy.[7] He signed with the Pelicans on May 30, prior to the start of the 2015 NBA Finals, but was to remain with Golden State until the series was completed.[8] The Warriors won the NBA Championship after they defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in six games to give Gentry his first NBA championship.

On August 15, 2020, after a disappointing performance in the NBA Bubble following the resumption of the 2019–20 season, Gentry was fired as the Pelicans' coach. He was 175–225 in five seasons. Often plagued by injuries, New Orleans used 140 starting lineups in that span, 11 more than the next-closest team in the league. Gentry left the Pelicans with the second-most wins in franchise history behind Byron Scott and was their only coach with a winning post-season record (5–4).[9]

Sacramento KingsEdit

On October 6, 2020, Gentry was named the associate head coach of the Sacramento Kings.[10] On November 21, 2021, Gentry was named the interim head coach of the Kings following the dismissal of Luke Walton.[11] On April 11, 2022, he was fired by the Kings.[12]

Head coaching recordEdit

Regular season G Games coached W Games won L Games lost W–L % Win–loss %
Playoffs PG Playoff games PW Playoff wins PL Playoff losses PW–L % Playoff win–loss %
Team Year G W L W–L% Finish PG PW PL PW–L% Result
Miami 1994–95 36 15 21 .417 4th in Atlantic Missed playoffs
Detroit 1997–98 37 16 21 .432 6th in Central Missed playoffs
Detroit 1998–99 50 29 21 .580 3rd in Central 5 2 3 .400 Lost in First Round
Detroit 1999–00 58 28 30 .483 (fired)
L.A. Clippers 2000–01 82 31 51 .378 6th in Pacific Missed playoffs
L.A. Clippers 2001–02 82 39 43 .476 5th in Pacific Missed playoffs
L.A. Clippers 2002–03 58 19 39 .328 (fired)
Phoenix 2008–09 31 18 13 .581 2nd in Pacific Missed playoffs
Phoenix 2009–10 82 54 28 .659 2nd in Pacific 16 10 6 .625 Lost in Conference Finals
Phoenix 2010–11 82 40 42 .488 2nd in Pacific Missed playoffs
Phoenix 2011–12 66 33 33 .500 3rd in Pacific Missed playoffs
Phoenix 2012–13 41 13 28 .317 (fired)
New Orleans 2015–16 82 30 52 .366 5th in Southwest Missed playoffs
New Orleans 2016–17 82 34 48 .415 4th in Southwest Missed playoffs
New Orleans 2017–18 82 48 34 .585 2nd in Southwest 9 5 4 .556 Lost in Conference Semifinals
New Orleans 2018–19 82 33 49 .402 4th in Southwest Missed playoffs
New Orleans 2019–20 72 30 42 .417 5th in Southwest Missed playoffs
Sacramento 2021–22 65 24 41 .369 5th in Pacific Missed playoffs
Career 1,170 534 636 .456 30 17 13 .567


  1. ^ a b c " Alvin Gentry Coach Info". Archived from the original on December 8, 2001.
  2. ^ Abrams, Jonathan (May 10, 2010). "Suns Stop the Bleeding". The New York Times. Retrieved May 20, 2010.
  3. ^ Abrams, Jonathan (May 9, 2010). "A Tough and Bloody Test Ends in the Suns' Favor". The New York Times. Retrieved May 20, 2010.
  4. ^ Front Office to Name Gentry's Replacement
  6. ^ Leung, Diamond (June 19, 2014). "Alvin Gentry to join Warriors staff as Steve Kerr's top assistant". San Jose Mercury-News. Retrieved June 20, 2014.
  7. ^ Helin, Kurt (May 18, 2015). "Report: Pelicans get permission to interview Warrior's assistant Alvin Gentry for coaching position". NBCSports. Retrieved May 19, 2015.
  8. ^ "New Orleans Pelicans Name Alvin Gentry Head Coach" (Press release). New Orleans Pelicans. May 30, 2015. Archived from the original on June 2, 2015.
  9. ^ Lopez, Andrew; Wojnarowski, Adrian (August 15, 2020). "New Orleans Pelicans dismiss head coach Alvin Gentry". Retrieved August 15, 2020.
  10. ^ Wojnarowski, Adrian (October 6, 2020). "Alvin Gentry joining Sacramento Kings as associate coach". Retrieved October 6, 2020.
  11. ^ "Luke Walton Relieved as Kings Head Coach". November 21, 2021. Retrieved November 21, 2021.
  12. ^ "Interim Head Coach Alvin Gentry Relieved of Coaching Duties". April 11, 2022. Retrieved April 11, 2022.

External linksEdit