App grad wins NBA Championship

Alvin Gentry

CLEVELAND, Ohio — It was already a great summer for former Appalachian State basketball player Alvin Gentry before the events that unfolded last Tuesday.

Gentry, who was recently named the new head coach of the New Orleans Pelicans on May 30, was part of the Golden State Warriors’ coaching staff that just took home the 2014-15 NBA Championship. The Warriors ended its best-of-seven series with the Cleveland Cavaliers by taking down the Cavs in Cleveland last Tuesday, 105-97.

Gentry spent this season as Golden State’s associate head coach and it is his first championship of his 26-year NBA coaching career. He is also the first player or coach from ASU to ever be part of an NBA championship-winning team.

The former Mountaineer standout played hoops from 1973-77 before graduating and pursuing his coaching career.

This is Gentry’s second time experiencing a championship victory. He was part of Larry Brown’s coaching staff at the University of Kansas when the Jayhawks won the NCAA Tournament in 1988.

Gentry’s first move as the new head coach of the Pelicans will be to decide who he wants the team to pick in the NBA Draft, set for this Thursday, June 25. New Orleans does not have a first round pick, but will have a chance to add a rookie player with the team’s second round draft pick, number 56 overall.

After that, the free agency period will open up and if there’s one piece of good news for Gentry taking over his new team, the Pelicans will have almost $25 million to spend before they are over the league salary cap.

New Orleans finished this past season with a 45-37 record and qualified for the NBA Playoffs as the eighth seed. Oddly enough, it was Gentry’s Warrior team that ended the Pelicans’ season in the first round of the playoffs.

Nathan Ham can be reached at 336-846-7164 or followed on Twitter @NathanHam87

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