METAIRIE, LA (WVUE) - Finishing 22 games under .500 would usually mean someone has to go in the coaching staff or the front office of the Pelicans. This off season, that doesn't seem to be the case.
Injuries to almost the entire roster likely gave Head Coach Alvin Gentry and General Manager Dell Demps a pass for now.
"I think management came to the conclusion that Dell Demps is returning because ownership thinks that the problem of going 30-52 was mostly attributed to injuries," said John Reid, Times-Picayune Pelicans beat writer. "They had 351 games missed, Alvin Gentry was forced to use 42 different lineups. From their perspective they felt they didn't get a true sample size or evaluation of what they have. Whether that's a miscalculation or not, I really feel the fan base has come to a conclusion that they don't like the decision to bring him back. He's got to make smart decisions ahead, particularly starting with the NBA Draft in June and getting that first-round pick."
A Yahoo Sports report toward the end of the season said Demps and Gentry's relationship soured, but Demps fought back on the rumors and felt things will get better going forward.
"I think we're going in the right direction and we're going to right this ship. I just want to make sure that Pelican fans know that we're in this together. That's why I felt it's important to address those issues that came up today and let you know that they're not true. I wanted to come up here with him. I know it's unusual media time for me, to let everybody know we're in this together," said Pelicans General Manager Dell Demps.
Gentry was asked in his year-end presser if Demps should stay. He felt without a doubt their marriage could flourish with the help of the organization.
"That's not even remotely in my category, or job description, or anything else. I don't know that," said Pelicans Head Coach Alvin Gentry. "I really like Dell, I really like working with him. I think we're on the same page on getting this team better. I think Mickey is a great guy, and I think he'll do everything he can to help us get this team better. I'm very happy with the people I'm working with. I'm very happy with Dell, and I think we work well together."
The next big date for the Pels is May 17, that's the night of the NBA Draft Lottery. They have the sixth-best chance of landing the first overall pick.