GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS

Heartbroken Warriors return to court to face Hawks

Jan 23, 2024, 5:28 PM | Updated: 6:05 pm

A general view of the screen during a moment of silence for Golden State Warriors assistant coach D...

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 17: A general view of the screen during a moment of silence for Golden State Warriors assistant coach Dejan Milojević prior to the game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Dallas Mavericks at Crypto.com Arena on January 17, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

(Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

The Golden State Warriors will pay tribute to late assistant coach Dejan Milojevic before undertaking the unenviable task of playing in an NBA game against the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night in San Francisco.

Milojevic suffered a heart attack at a team dinner with fellow Golden State coaches, players and staff in Salt Lake City last Tuesday night. He died at the hospital early the next morning, prompting the NBA to postpone the Warriors’ next two games.

Clearly shaken by the 46-year-old’s unexpected passing, Golden State took six days off, even making a scheduled Monday practice voluntary when some players informed coach Steve Kerr that they weren’t ready to return quite yet. The team was able to hold a full workout Tuesday, ending a week of mostly inactivity since a 116-107 loss at Memphis on Jan. 15.

“We needed (time to mourn). I want to thank the NBA, Adam Silver, for postponing those two games,” Kerr said Monday. “There’s no way any of us could have walked out onto a court and played a basketball game either (last) Wednesday or Friday.”

The Hawks-Warriors game will follow a video tribute to Milojevic, who was in his third season with Golden State after having started his NBA coaching career with the Hawks’ summer-league team in 2016. The longtime head coach in Europe also was on the San Antonio Spurs’ and Houston Rockets’ summer-league staffs before hooking up with Kerr.

Warriors center Kevon Looney, who worked closely with Milojevic, admitted that he is prepared for a return to the normalcy of the busy NBA schedule.

“Basketball is the fun part of our lives, getting on the court and competing. That’s what we’re all here as a family to do,” he said. “I’m looking forward to just being able to get to the game and be able to play. … I just want to get back on the court and try to get lost in my love for the game.”

The Hawks have had four games since the Warriors’ loss in Memphis, beating the Orlando Magic and Miami Heat before losing to the Cleveland Cavaliers and Kings. Monday’s 122-107 setback at Sacramento began a two-game California swing.

The game against Orlando came on the same day as the news broke of Milojevic’s passing. Hawks guard and fellow Serbian Bogdan Bogdanovic — noting he never played for Milojevic but went against him when he was a player in Europe — considered asking out of the Magic game.

“I was thinking about not showing up (last Wednesday) when I couldn’t sleep and I was out of my routine,” he said. “But then I was like, ‘He would not want me to do that.'”

Hawks star Trae Young is expected to miss his second straight game after suffering a concussion on Saturday against the Cavaliers. Backcourt mate Dejounte Murray, the subject of much trade speculation in recent days, picked up the slack with a game-high 35 points on Monday against the Kings.

Warriors fans should get the opportunity to see Draymond Green at home for the first time since he was suspended on Dec. 14 for hitting Phoenix’s Jusuf Nurkic in the face in a game against the Suns two days earlier.

After watching his team go 7-5 during his suspension, but then just 1-3 while he was working his way back into shape, Green had seven points, seven rebounds and four assists in 24 minutes off the bench in the loss at Memphis.

–Field Level Media

Thank you for reading SactownSports.com. Follow us on Twitter and Google News, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Newsletter

Golden State Warriors

Jusuf Nurkic #20 of the Phoenix Suns handles the ball during the first half of the NBA game at Foot...

Arizona Sports

Suns’ Jusuf Nurkic posts ‘that’s all folks!’ after Kings take down Draymond Green, Warriors

Phoenix Suns big man Jusuf Nurkic and Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green have had quite the back-and-forth this season. Given the timing of Nurkic’s latest social media post on Tuesday, there’s reason to believe the Bosnian big man has taken the latest shot in the ongoing feud. Shortly after the Golden State Warriors were […]

2 days ago

Klay Thompson #11 of the Golden State Warriors walks off the court after losing to the Sacramento K...

Joseph Jarosz

Dry night for one half of the Splash Brothers

If Tuesday night was the last time Klay Thompson donned a Golden State Warriors jersey, then he went on with a flicker instead of his usual flame.

3 days ago

A general view as fans cheer during the third quarter in game seven of the Western Conference First...

Joseph Jarosz

Sacramento Kings vs Warriors is again the hottest postseason ticket

The Sacramento Kings and Golden State Warriors are again the hottest postseason ticket.

4 days ago

Harrison Barnes #40 of the Sacramento Kings is guarded by Dario Saric #20 of the Golden State Warri...

Joseph Jarosz

Why Tuesday’s game between the Kings & Warriors won’t be like last year

The Sacramento Kings and Golden State Warriors split the season series two games apiece. Who takes the rubber match Tuesday night in the NBA's play-in tournament?

4 days ago

Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors looks down between plays in the third quarter agains...

Field Level Media

Golden State Warriors weigh merits of rest against Jazz

Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr insists he's planning to prioritize rest over a possible home-court advantage when his club wraps up the regular season by hosting the Utah Jazz on Sunday in San Francisco.

6 days ago

Draymond Green #23 of the Golden State Warriors defends against LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles...

Field Level Media

Lakers, Warriors face off with play-in implications on the line

With one order of business now out of the way, the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors will give one last shot at simplifying their path forward.

11 days ago

Heartbroken Warriors return to court to face Hawks