INDIANAPOLIS -- Alvin Gentry, fired last month as coach of the NBA's Detroit Pistons, was a winner in his debut as a coach of the Harlem Globetrotters on Saturday.
Gentry, hired Friday by Globetrotters owner Mannie Jackson, guided his team to an 82-80 victory over the National Association of Basketball Coaches All-Stars, a group of 12 college seniors.
"It was important for us to add a seasoned coach to our staff," Jackson said. "While we are playing in Indianapolis on Saturday, we also have teams playing in Burlington, Vt., and Harrisonburg, Va., on the same day -- so our coaching staff is being spread thin.
"Alvin understands the impact and importance of our game at Final Four weekend and he can immediately step in and help out," Jackson said.
Gentry began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Colorado in 1977. He later joined the coaching staff of Larry Brown at Kansas and was an assistant there when the Jayhawks won the 1988 NCAA championships.
He later joined Brown as an assistant with the San Antonio Spurs and was also with the Los Angeles Clippers and Miami Heat before joining the Pistons in the summer of 1995.