During the wild championship celebration Tuesday night, outgoing Golden State Warriors assistant coach Alvin Gentry turned his attention to his new job.
The deliriously happy Gentry will soon be coaching Anthony Davis, and he’s already planning on returning to the NBA Finals with the New Orleans Pelicans.
Steve Kerr and the rest of the Warriors’ staff good-naturedly told Gentry that he’s no longer welcome in their locker room.
Before he left the arena, (Stephen) Curry was fire-hosed with Mumm Napa. “I smell like a frat,” he said. (Andre) Iguodala ate pizza in a towel. “We’re going to Augusta!” he shouted at Curry’s dad, a fellow golfer. The normally understated (Klay) Thompson belted out Queen’s, “We Are The Champions.” “So you do smile?” a startled member of the traveling party asked him. In the locker room, somebody chirped, “Now let’s go win summer league!” In the hallway, general manager Bob Myers was surveyed about a pickup game the next day, and the draft the next week. “Pickup?” he said. “Tomorrow?”
On the five-minute bus ride to Morton’s, (Steve) Kerr and Myers talked about Iguodala, who was sent to the bench in training camp and wound up Finals MVP. “That’s the best part of this,” Kerr said. Michael Silver, an NFL Network analyst and high-school buddy from Pacific Palisades, on the western edge of L.A., also rode along. “Remember how you used to listen to Chick Hearn and Bill King at the same time?” Kerr asked Silver. Hearn was the Lakers’ broadcaster, King the Warriors’, and Silver hooked up two radios at the same time when the teams met. “Chick Hearn would say, ’20-footer no good,’ and two seconds later Bill King would say, ’17-footer no good.’” Silver didn’t remember. Kerr did.
They were still reminiscing on the elevator at the Ritz when associate head coach Alvin Gentry stepped off at his floor and started toward his room, where he was changing for the party. Gentry is the new head coach in New Orleans, charged with finding a way to do what no team this season could: vanquish the Warriors. Just before the elevator door closed, and Gentry walked away, Kerr delivered one poignant parting message to his treasured lieutenant. “I can’t wait,” he said with a playful smile, “to start kicking the Pelicans’ ass.”