Alvin Gentry had only been inducted into one Hall of Fame before Wednesday.
That was way back in 2000 when he went into the Cleveland County Sports Hall of Fame in his home state of North Carolina.
The Pelicans coach got his second one Wednesday when he was inducted into the Boys and Girls Club of America’s Alumni Hall of Fame in a ceremony held at the Hilton Riverside hotel in downtown New Orleans.
“With the year we had here, anything that has Hall of Fame in it, I’m all for it,” Gentry said. “It’s a great honor, and the fact that they feel worthy enough to be nominated is good for me.”
Gentry was thankful.
Pelicans fans should be thankful, too.
Gentry’s induction means he was available to the media before the ceremony, breaking what has been an almost monthlong silence by anyone in the Pelicans’ organization.
He spoke for five minutes and 25 seconds, with about four minutes of that devoted to the impact the Boys and Girls Club had on his life growing up. The remaining 80 seconds (which seems like an eternity considering what we have heard from the Pelicans of late) was devoted to the Pelicans.
For those keeping count, it had been 28 days since the New Orleans Pelicans last played a basketball game.
And it’s been about that many days (27 to be exact) since we’ve heard anything from the organization.
The front office has been mum about everything since that day Gentry held his postseason news conference.
A scheduled news conference for general manager Dell Demps on April 25 was canceled with no explanation of why.
Two days later, Mickey Loomis held a news conference, but it was for the Saints and he declined to answer any questions about the Pelicans.
The Pelicans have seemingly been put on the back burner (at least publicly) while the Saints and a pair of Tom Benson’s horses grabbed the attention.
But the NFL draft is now over.
And so is the Kentucky Derby.
There has been no word on if Demps, whose status has seemed to be in limbo since the season ended. But at this point, we should assume he is.
After all, he’s in Chicago attending the all-important NBA pre-draft combine that begins Thursday and there are some important dates coming up.
The lottery is Tuesday. The draft is June 23. And free agency begins on July 1.
Time is ticking.
Management isn’t obligated to tell the fans if Demps or someone else will be making all the important decisions this summer.
But it should tell the fans something, especially considering the fans are the ones purchasing season tickets. And the fans are obviously frustrated with the silence, especially after an injury-filled season when the Pelicans finished 30-52 and missed the playoffs.
Some day soon, maybe management will say something.
Thanks to the Boys and Girls Club of America, we got a bit more information about the Pelicans.
Gentry will flying to Chicago on Thursday for the pre-draft camp.
“It’s an ongoing process,” Gentry said about the offseason. “Obviously we are very disappointed with the season we had last year. The main thing for us is we feel like everybody will be healthy and ready to go at training camp in most of the situations. In that respect, we are looking forward to it. Obviously, we are going to get a high draft pick and then the free agency market, and obviously we are going to explore some things in that situation.”
He spoke briefly about guard Jrue Holiday, one of many of the Pelicans players hit with injury this season.
“He still has a little double vision, but he seems to be progressing as we would expect,” he said.
And Gentry spoke briefly about the draft, where the Pelicans (assuming they don’t make a trade) will be picking as low as the No. 6 spot to as high as the first spot, depending on the outcome of Tuesday’s lottery.
“We are going to look at all kinds of angles in the draft,” Gentry said. “It’s always that thing about we are going to take the best player. In this case, we will probably look at situations and whoever we feel is the best player is who we will take.”
And with that, Gentry’s session with the media ended.
He then spoke to the audience briefly with his induction speech, calling the hall of fame an even greater moment than winning the NBA title in June when he was an assistant with the Golden State Warriors.
He ended his speech by urging the crowd to “Cheer really hard for the Pelicans. We need your help.”
Will there be much to cheer about?
That will likely depend on how healthy the team is and also just how much noise the Pelicans’ front office makes in the offseason.
So far, they’ve been pretty quiet.