New Orleans Pelicans assistant coach Jeff Bzdelik will not accompany the team to Orlando for the restart of the NBA season, Bzdelik’s agent, Warren LeGarie, told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Friday afternoon.
According to team sources, the decision, which takes into account CDC guidelines, was made after Bzdelik, 67, consulted with team physicians. The team is fully supportive of his decision to stay back, team sources said. Bzdelik is in his first year as an assistant coach with the Pelicans.
Meanwhile, multiple sources tell ESPN no decision has been made yet on Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry’s status heading into Orlando. Sources say the Pelicans are supportive of Gentry, 65, being able to join the team for the remainder of the season and have been working with the league in order to ensure he can make it to Orlando.
On Monday, Gentry was asked what he thought the NBA would say about his ability to coach.
“I have no idea,” he said. “My plan right now is to be in Orlando, and I’m looking forward to it, really. I think as the season was put on hiatus we were playing really good basketball, and hopefully we can get back to that. That’s why I’m not treating it like a training camp, I’m treating it like picking up where we left off when the season went on hiatus.”
On Wednesday, Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle, the president of the National Basketball Coaches Association, told reporters “we’ve been assured by the league that no one will be red-flagged from going to Orlando based on age alone.”
Bzdelik retired from coaching just before the start of the 2018-19 season but ultimately joined the Houston Rockets again in November of that year. He joined the Pelicans in July of last year.
According to sources, Bzdelik will be able to remain in New Orleans and continue to help the team with defensive strategy from afar.