Yesterday, in a conversation with the Charlotte Observer, Gentry spoke about how the appeal of the Bobcats coaching vacancy.
“It reminds me a little bit of the teams I had in L.A. (with the Clippers): Young players, very energetic guys,’’ Gentry said. “Kemba (Walker) and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist have a lot of potential and (Gerald) Henderson has started to really establish himself as a pro.
For a little over two seasons Gentry was the coach of the Los Angeles Clippers. He had young talent in Elton Brand, Lamar Odom, Corey Maggette and Darius Miles among others. Gentry peaked at a 39-43 record with the Clippers and the team never reached the postseason.
Gentry redeemed himself in Phoenix, when he got the team to the Western Conference Finals in 2010. Phoenix elected to rebuild after the losses of Steve Nash and Amar’e Stoudemire over the next string of offseasons. Gentry was ousted this season after a 13-28 start.
Gentry doesn’t seem discouraged about entering another rebuilding stage with the Bobcats, and believes they have the pieces to compete quicker than expected.
“I’ve seen a lot of their games. Yes, they’ve struggled at times, but that’s a situation where you could make a big change in a year or so. I know that player development is really important to that job.’’
Gentry, a native of Shelby, NC, believes his local ties could help in the community and bring more people out to games. He also sees a lot of options with the Bobcats draft picks and cap space for the next couple of years.
“You know they’re going to get some good young players with those picks and then they have the (cap) flexibility to add a very good veteran player, somebody who can serve as an example to the rest of the locker room,’’ Gentry said.