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Another potential coaching candidate is off the board. Veteran coach Alvin Gentry has officially joined the Sacramento Kings as an assistant under coach Luke Walton, the team announced Wednesday. 

Gentry spent the last five seasons as coach of the New Orleans Pelicans but was fired shortly after the team was eliminated from playoff contention in the bubble earlier this summer. Aside from a strong run to the second round of the playoffs in 2018, Gentry’s time in the Big Easy was largely a disappointment. He finished with a 175-225 record, and only one postseason appearance. 

Despite his struggles as a head coach, both recently and throughout his career, Gentry is one of the most well-respected figures in the league and had multiple job offers. Per Stein, the Philadelphia 76ers were eager to add Gentry to new coach Doc Rivers’ staff. Gentry previously worked with Rivers in Los Angeles, serving as an assistant during the 2013-14 season. 

Instead, Gentry decided to take the Sacramento job. While the Kings won’t be as good as the Sixers next season, Gentry also has a relationship with Walton, dating back to the duo’s days together on the bench with the Golden State Warriors. Plus, while he might not admit this publicly, joining the Kings gives him a much clearer path towards being a head coach again.

There was no way he was going to move up in Philadelphia after the commitment they made with Rivers, but Walton has struggled in his short time in charge of the Kings. They fell well short of expectations this season, and just hired a new general manager in Monte McNair. Though Walton kept his job, a new front office won’t have much loyalty to him if he continues to struggle. 


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