In the week since he was hired as the new coach of the Pelicans, Alvin Gentry has yet to speak to his best player — and vice versa.
But from the Pelicans’ end, not reaching out to Anthony Davis is because of an agreement Gentry would concentrate on his current position as associate head coach of the Golden State Warriors until after the NBA Finals before officially representing the Pels, a source close to the situation said Saturday.
“It will happen soon enough,” the source said. “There’s no problem.”
The source did not indicate if other team officials had spoken with Davis, who is expected to be given a max contract offer worth approximately $144 million July 1.
Davis, in an interview with SI.com to promote his appearing on the cover of a video game, indicated he was not upset he had not heard from Gentry.
“I haven’t reached out to him; I’ll let him reach out to me,” Davis said. “I know right now he’s still the coach for the Warriors and trying to get a ring.
“When the series is over, I definitely want to reach out to him. He’ll probably reach out to me and try to talk more basketball and what our future will be.”
Davis also said he was aware of what Gentry did to improve the games of Steve Nash and Amar’e Stoudemire during Gentry’s time as both an assistant and head coach of the Phoenix Suns.
“It’s going to be interesting,” Davis said. “I like what he did with Nash and Amar’e. Not saying we have a Nash or Amar’e, but the way he utilized that pick and roll, it was a great thing to watch.
“We’ll definitely sit down and try to figure out how he wants to me to play and try to go from there.”
Davis also said he planned to remain close to former Pelicans coach Monty Williams, who was fired May 12.
“It’s always tough to see a coach go,” Davis said. “I came in with that coach, and he taught me a lot about the game, about life, about being a man. We will talk about everything. Just because he’s not coaching us anymore doesn’t mean he won’t be a factor in my life.”
Gentry’s hiring situation is an unusual one in the NBA in that he is staying with his old team until the season is over.
Atlanta Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer is the only other active coach who was in such a situation. Budenholzer remained with the San Antonio Spurs through the 2013 Finals before joining the Hawks.
However Budenholzer said earlier this week he “had had enough time in the day to make a few phone calls and do some things related to the next job.”
The Pelicans source said Gentry was staying away from that, and that the decision to hire assistants Darren Erman and Robert Pack was made before Gentry rejoined the Warriors last Sunday.
Unlike Budenholzer, who two years ago was introduced to the local media before rejoining the Spurs, Gentry’s introduction has been delayed until after the Finals end and there was no planned timetable for that to happen.
“If Golden State wins it, Alvin will probably want to say for the victory parade,” the source said, “He’ll be here then. We don’t play a game until November.”
However, the draft is June 25 and free agency begins July 1.