The combination of Anthony Davis and Alvin Gentry should suit the New Orleans Pelicans just fine in their pursuit of a title. Gentry has already talked about how excited he is to be in New Orleans. He was mentioning it just as soon as his Golden State Warriors won their championship. And that shoutout meant a lot to Davis, who joined reporters on a conference call Monday to talk about his new contract, his development over the summer and his new head coach.
On Gentry's announcement of "AD, we're going to be right back here!" during the Warriors' celebration , Davis said, "That's the biggest thing that really got me excited because he wasn't just saying that to say it. He really believes that. Saying it after he just won was another thing, you know? So you're thinking about [how] the Pelicans are trying to win next year when you could be enjoying your time with Golden State."
But if that one line helped lay the foundation for a beautiful relationship between Gentry and Davis, there's still a lot of work to be done on top of that foundation. Davis told reporters that while he's working on extending his range and focused on improving his footwork, among other offensive polishing, he's also concentrating on defense. He understand that his job to be able to do everything at an elite level. That's the expectation, for better or for worse.
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And Davis knows that Gentry can help him get to that level, particularly on offense. Yes, that's because of Gentry's offensive system and the change he'll make there. But the new staff's concerted effort to maintain continuity and bring back free agents this summer made a good impression with Davis, too:
"I definitely love his playing style," Davis said. "My teammates, they have a lot of confidence in Coach Gentry. I think that's why everybody's coming back.
"In order for us to be that contender that we want to be, we have to have a lot of chemistry, which we have from the past few years," Davis added. "So it's good that everybody's going to come back and we're going to be able to have that chemistry ready for Coach's new system."
The bottom line for Davis and the Pelicans is he feels comfortable in New Orleans, and he likes the players he's grown alongside. This probably isn't the exact roster that gets the Pelicans in title contention. But it's a good start in the eyes of the franchise's most important player.