I agree with Alvin Gentry. Healthy older coaches, who want to be out there, should not be sidelined when the NBA returns.
After league commissioner Adam Silver mentioned that certain coaches may not be able to be the bench coach on Inside the NBA, Gentry was quick to say in part, "I think it's unfair if that's what they're doing. To base something strictly on age...I want to be with my team and do my job. That's what they hired me for."
And NBA Coaches Association President Rick Carlisle followed up, "I just spoke to Adam Silver and he admitted that he jumped the gun with his statement to TNT. The health and safety of our coaches is first and foremost. It's entirely possible that an NBA coach in his 60's or 70's could be healthier than someone in their 30's or 40's.”
To be fair, this is not simply a case of ageism in my mind, as the facts are that the coronavirus has tragically impacted the older demographic at a much higher rate. And obviously, I support attempting to keep everyone safe. But that is what the NBA had to look into in green lighting a return to play. I trust the league will handle this issue with care and resolve it the right way.
But as is the case with all of us, older coaches like Gentry, who I can't believe is 65, and perhaps most notably Mike D’Antoni, given the Rockets playoff position, will make decisions in how they want to live their lives.
Clearly, for many, that means being the coach for their team on the sideline.