Meet New Pelicans Assistants Darren Erman and Robert Pack


The NBA has a whole new form of free agency. Steve Kerr proved this season that a coach is only as effective as his staff, and with Head Coaches being fired left and right, the race to pair them with a team of killer assistants is tight and competitive.

“Big Threes” of coaching minds are forming all over the league, and the ability to have multiple minds operating as one is a huge advantage for a team’s ability to outsmart their opponent. Steve Kerr, Alvin Gentry and Ron Adams were the Wade, LeBron and Bosh of the Warriors management this season, and they had 67 wins to prove it.

February 15, 2015; New York, NY, USA; Western Conference head coach Steve Kerr of the Golden State Warriors (middle) watches with assistant coach Ron Adams (left) and assistant coach Alvin Gentry (right) during the first quarter of the 2015 NBA All-Star Game against the Eastern Conference at Madison Square Garden.Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The trend is to hire one Head Coach who is elite on one side of the floor, and then hire a coordinator to help him on the other end. This system is hard to implement though, you need a Head Coach who is willing to set aside his ego and defer to assistants and associates who are more versed in certain fields.

Alvin Gentry is the head honcho, and he’s the perfect man for the job. Gentry is a brilliant offensive mind, but he is only an average defensive coordinator. That’s not even the important part.

Alvin Gentry is constantly referred to as an open-minded, communal leader who brings out the best in everyone he works with.

Assistant and players around the league have the utmost respect for him, and the most common thing you hear from his past colleges is “I’d love to work with him again.”

As of today, we have the first member of our “Big Three” coaching roster. Darren Erman is a genius defensive coordinator with a controversial past, and the Pelicans have chosen to make him their “Associate Head Coach,” serving aside Alvin Gentry.

Before we break down Erman as a coach, we need to acknowledge the elephant in the room…

Erman was fired from the Warriors coaching staff while serving under Mark Jackson. The reason was that he was apparently “taping private conversations” between Jackson and his staff.

Now I’m not sure how to say this subtly, but a lot of people around the league believe Mark Jackson is… crazy.

The popular opinion is that the incident had a lot more to do with Jackson’s antics then Erman’s discretion.

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Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated said “What happened out there was, in my opinion, a total hatchet job for Darren Erman” as well as stating “Darren has been one of the most respected assistants in the NBA for a long time.”

Its not just Mannix either, once Erman was fired he was immediately courted by Doc Rivers, the Celtics organization, and many other team’s around the league. Jackson was fired at the end of the season and hasn’t coached in the league since.

Meanwhile Erman joined the Celtics as a defensive assistant and has transformed their defense in a single season.

Jul 22, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Golden State Warriors head coach Darren Erman lifts the NBA Summer League Championship trophy with his players after defeating the Phoenix Suns in the final NBA Summer League game 91-77 at the Thomas and Mack Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

The Pelicans were able to lure him away by turning him from an “Assistant” to an “Associate” and offering him a chance to work with Gentry and Anthony Davis. Erman is by all means a perfect addition to the staff, and will likely end up as a Head Coach later in his career.

The second addition to our staff was former NBA player, and assistant coach for the Clippers and Thunder, Robert Pack.

Pack is a another great addition.

He’s an average Xs and Os guy, who shines as a player developer for young NBA guards. He been given credit for enhancing the careers of Eric Bledsoe and Russell Westbrook, and is also a NOLA native who played with the team for a season.

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On a team with three young starting level guards, Robert Pack will be a perfect edition to the already growing staff. He won’t have as much say or power as Gentry or Erman, but he will be a strong locker room presence as well as a motivator.

That’s who Darren Erman and Robert Pack are, perfect additions to help this team win.

The controversy surrounding Erman was largely noise and gossip, and he has shown in the past he has an unmatched work ethic and is a complete professional.

This means that as of today we have an offensive genius at the helm, a defensive mastermind as his sidekick, and a former player to motivate and develop our young playmakers.

Gentry served as an “Associate Head Coach” this season, so he knows the value of a strong staff. Pelicans fans can be confident in the chemistry, respect, and competence he will bring to the locker room.

Gentry isn’t just building this team’s staff — he’s building this team’s culture, as well……….

Next: Why The Pelicans Will Get 6 More Years of Anthony Davis