Pelicans hire Warriors' Gentry as new coach

New Orleans, LA ( - Alvin Gentry, who has been an assistant for the Western Conference-champion Golden State Warriors, is getting another shot to lead an NBA team.

The New Orleans Pelicans announced Saturday night that they have hired Gentry to be their next head coach.

Gentry, 60, will take over after the NBA Finals, the Pelicans said. He replaces Monty Williams, who was fired on May 12 after going 173-221 in five seasons with New Orleans.

"I'm truly honored for the opportunity to lead the Pelicans as their head coach and am anxious to get started," Gentry said in a statement.

But he said his focus for the time being is helping the Warriors during their first NBA Finals appearance since 1975. Game 1 against Cleveland is scheduled for Thursday in Oakland.

The Pelicans made the playoffs for the first time since 2011, but were swept by top-seeded Golden State in the first round.

Gentry was previously an NBA head coach for the Heat, Pistons, Clippers and Suns, going 335-370 in parts of 12 seasons between 1994-2013. He was fired by the Suns in January 2013 after a 13-28 start to the season.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr hired him as an associate head coach last June after he spent a season in the same capacity with the Clippers.

"I'm extremely happy for Alvin and wish him the best of luck in this new challenge," Kerr said in a statement. "He's had a tremendous impact on the success of our team this season and, personally, has been instrumental in my development as a coach.

"His experience as a head coach in the NBA has been invaluable during my first season and will, likewise, serve the Pelicans well as they move forward. Our loss is New Orleans' gain and I know he'll do an outstanding job with the Pelicans once the NBA Finals are completed."