Alvin Gentry to Anthony Davis after Warriors win: 'We're gonna be right back here!'

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  • Alvin Gentry
    Alvin Gentry
    American basketball coach
Alvin Gentry celebrates his present *and* his future. (Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty Images)
Alvin Gentry celebrates his present *and* his future. (Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty Images)

A little over a week after Alvin Gentry accepted the New Orleans Pelicans' vacant head coaching job, the team's ascendant superstar power forward, Anthony Davis, said he hadn't yet touched base with his new coach. He understood why — Gentry still hadn't yet moved on from his current gig, working as the associate head coach and offensive coordinator of a Golden State Warriors team vying for the 2014-15 NBA championship — but still, he said he looked forward to connecting with Gentry.

"I haven’t tried to reach out to him. I’ll let him reach out to me," Davis told Sports Illustrated's DeAntae Prince. "I know right now he’s still the coach for the Warriors and trying to get a ring. When the series is over, I definitely want to reach out to him. He’ll probably reach out to me and try to talk more basketball and what our future will be."

Gentry did just that late Tuesday night — or early Wednesday morning; who can keep track? — as the Warriors commenced the champagne-fueled celebration of a 105-97 Game 6 victory that eliminated the Cleveland Cavaliers and clinched Golden State's first NBA title in 40 years. Let everybody else pop bottles — Coach Gentry was more interested in once again throwing something heavy down:

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"HEY!" a beaming Gentry screamed directly into the camera capturing the Warriors' locker-room reverie for NBA TV's post-game broadcast. "AD! AD! We're gonna be right back here!"

That led Warriors head coach Steve Kerr and general manager Bob Myers to jokingly tell Gentry to pipe down and get out of here. He did not oblige.

"Hey, AD!" a laughing Gentry repeated as he once again approached the camera. "We're going to be right back here, OK? This is where we're coming! All right!"

That's an awfully bold claim to make, of course. While the Pelicans are certainly on an upswing after finishing over .500 and making the playoffs this season for the first time since Chris Paul headed to L.A. in 2011, they're still a team that just edged out the Oklahoma City Thunder for the No. 8 seed out West and got swept in pretty excruciating fashion by these Warriors in the opening round of the 2015 postseason. There's still quite a bit of ground for Gentry, Davis and the rest of the Pelicans to cover as they continue their climb out of the NBA cellar, past the checkpoint of mediocrity, and up toward the top of the mountain.

And yet, who can knock Gentry for feeling like all things are possible through the brilliance of young AD, especially after completing the crowning achievement of his coaching career to date, and especially after doing so by behind an evolved version of the pace-pushing, 3-bombing, organized-chaos offense that was so widely maligned during his and Kerr's time with the Phoenix Suns?

Oh, yes: Coach Gentry was in a particularly exuberant, opinion-sharing mood.

Kerr, ever looking to share the credit, heaped praise on "the guy I've leaned on the most" for spearheading the changes he made to Golden State's offense after he took over for the ousted Mark Jackson last summer.

"I knew the defense was already there, and I felt like if we played faster and we got more possessions, our defense would still hold up because of the shooting and the dynamic play of Steph[en Curry] in particular," Kerr said after Game 6. "It just felt like the combination would work, and Alvin Gentry was really the biggest proponent of the pace and the combination of all that. We felt like it would work, but I'd be lying to you if I told I felt like we were going to win the NBA title."

Evidently, Gentry doesn't share his now-former boss's reservations when it comes to predicting championships. To get back there, though, Gentry and the Pelicans will have to topple the newly crowned champs ... and something tells me Kerr's not exactly going to make that easy for them. From Lee Jenkins' tremendous Sports Illustrated piece on the Warriors' post-championship afterparty:

They were still reminiscing on the elevator at the Ritz when associate head coach Alvin Gentry stepped off at his floor and started toward his room, where he was changing for the party. Gentry is the new head coach in New Orleans, charged with finding a way to do what no team this season could: vanquish the Warriors. Just before the elevator door closed, and Gentry walked away, Kerr delivered one poignant parting message to his treasured lieutenant. “I can’t wait,” he said with a playful smile, "to start kicking the Pelicans’ ass."

Video via the great @cjzero.

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Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter!

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