The list of potential head coaching candidates to fill the Los Angeles Lakers‘ vacancy seems to grow every day as Alvin Gentry will be the next coach to be granted an interview. Gentry signed a deal to become associate head coach next to Doc Rivers with the Los Angeles Clippers last summer after mutually parting ways with his former team the Phoenix Suns last year.
Offense has seemed to be Gentry’s forte throughout his coaching career especially in Phoenix, incorporating parts of Mike D’Antoni‘s style and combining it with his own. Gentry served under D’Antoni before being promoted after D’Antoni fled for a better opportunity with the New York Knicks. What makes Gentry’s style different is that he does prefer an uptempo offense, but not so quick that the team is rushing shots.
He also puts strong emphasis on defense, which is vital to success, especially in today’s NBA. As assistant coach of the Clippers this season, Gentry took responsibility for the offense, finishing first in both team offensive efficiency as well as points per game.
Is he the right candidate to fill the head coaching vacancy in Los Angeles? Probably not. Then why is he getting an interview? Well, apparently he blew away Mitch Kupchak in a prior phone interview, and also it doesn’t hurt to give him a shot. Gentry did in fact lead the Suns to the Western Conference Finals in 2010 before losing to the Lakers, who went on to win an NBA Championship that year.
Aside from the 2009-10 season though, Gentry has failed to really make any noise in terms of having a successful season. He has only made the playoffs twice in over a decade of coaching, so I believe he would be better suited as a lead assistant coach like he is now with the Clippers.