The final touch on the New Orleans Pelicans’ coaching staff is the impending addition of Phil Weber as an assistant, multiple sources told The Advocate on Sunday. The hiring was first reported by Yahoo Sports.
Weber most recently served as head coach of the Sioux City Skyforce, which won the NBA Development League’s Central Division with a 29-21 record. He has a wealth of experience in the NBA, particularly alongside new Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry.
The pair worked together with the Phoenix Suns, first as assistants on Mike D’Antoni’s staff (from 2003-08), and then when Weber coached under Gentry for four seasons starting in 2009 while he served as the Suns’ head coach.
Weber has been characterized by his peers for his upbeat personality and a consistently positive outlook, which he often has credited to his experience playing under Jim Valvano at N.C. State.
“You can meet someone who’s as positive as I am, but you can’t meet someone who is more positive than I am,” Weber said in an interview with NBA.com. “I say that because I don’t think we use enough positive tension in our life.”
He’ll join a staff that has varying experience with Gentry, New Orleans and this roster. Defensive specialist Darren Erman is the only coach on the staff to have worked with none of the above.
Robert Pack is a New Orleans native who has played and coached with the franchise in the past 15 years. Assistants Kevin Hanson and Fred Vinson are holdovers from Monty Williams’ staff and have worked as specialists with this roster for multiple years. Former video coordinator Elvis Valcarael was in Phoenix with Gentry and was called “the guy who can do a little bit of everything” by the Pelicans’ new head coach.
Now Weber will join the group.
In Jack McCallum’s book “:07 Seconds or Less”, which chronicled the 2005-06 Suns, Weber was routinely described as a talkative force of optimism who focused on wings and guards as well as the mental side of the game. Beyond motivational tactics, he also served as a clinician by working with players on the practice floor.
McCallum wrote that Gentry used to refer to Weber as “white noise” because of his penchant for chatting and an eagerness to weigh in on any topic.
“One of my favorite words in the English language is ‘synergy,’ ” Weber told NBA.com in 2010. “You add all of the individual pieces, all those skill sets. As the skill sets improve, then you mesh those moving parts into how you want to play.”