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David Griffin speaks out on ‘difficult’ move in firing Alvin Gentry as Pelicans coach

Pelicans, Alvin Gentry, David Griffin

New Orleans Pelicans Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations David Griffin says the move to fire Alvin Gentry as head coach was “difficult.”

Griffin pointed to how he and Gentry have known each other for years.

At the end of the day, though, Griffin felt that the Pelicans needed a coach who fit with the club better than Gentry did.

“I’ve known Alvin for more than 15 years, so this is really difficult on a human level,” said Griffin, who previously worked with Gentry in Phoenix, via Jim Eichenhofer of Pelicans.com.

“He hasn’t forgotten how to coach and this isn’t about any shortcomings. This is far more about finding the right fit and a shared vision for a very young and ambitious group moving forward.”

The Pelicans missed the playoffs this season and played poorly at Walt Disney World in the NBA restart. Alvin Gentry only led New Orleans to the postseason once during his tenure with the franchise. He went 175-225 in the regular season and 5-4 in the playoffs.

David Griffin went on to say the Pelicans job is an attractive one. The roster is headlined by Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram, Jrue Holiday and Lonzo Ball. Thus far, New Orleans has been linked to Tyronn Lue and Jason Kidd, though Griffin is expected to conduct a thorough coaching search in the offseason.

Lue, though, could have the upper hand on the field since he worked with Griffin on the Cleveland Cavaliers. The two were part of the 2016 Cavs team which won the NBA Finals over the Golden State Warriors.

The Pelicans only got past the first round of the playoffs once during the Anthony Davis era. The franchise must have better success with Williamson.