The Philadelphia 76ers have found their new head coach in Doc Rivers, and there might be another hire on the way soon. As ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski mentioned in his report on Doc joining the Sixers (on a five-year deal), Alvin Gentry is a “serious possibility” to join Rivers’ staff as an assistant coach.
Gentry would be a great hire for the Sixers. He has a wealth of experience as both an assistant and head coach from an NBA coaching career that has spanned over the last 30 years. Gentry spent time as assistant with the San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Clippers and Miami Heat in the early 1990s before taking his first NBA head coaching job with Miami in 1995 for two years.
His coaching in the 2000s was highlighted by his time with Mike D’Antoni’s Seven Seconds or Less Suns, as he spent four years as an assistant with the team from 2004-2008, before taking over as head coach from D’Antoni from 2008-2012. Gentry went to the Western Conference Finals with the Suns in 2009-10, losing to the Lakers in six games. Fast forward to 2013-14, and he spent a year as the associate head coach for the Clippers, working with Doc. Gentry even spent a season as an assistant with Steve Kerr and the Golden State Warriors in 2014-15.
Basically, Gentry has an awful lot of experience, and plenty of time working with top coaches under his belt.
Gentry’s defense has been an issue before and was a major problem during his recent stint with New Orleans as well. Even though not all the blame can be put on him, Gentry joining the Sixers in an assistant role where he could focus on supporting Doc and polishing the offense would be ideal for him. Gentry is a really smart offensive coach. He knows how to utilize lots of movement, off-ball actions and screening, and ramp up a team’s pace, and could certainly help inject the Sixers with some extra creativity.
We’ll likely hear more updates soon as Doc’s tenure with the Sixers gets underway. But if Gentry is someone Doc wants on his staff, Philly should absolutely make it happen.