Chris DeMarco

Two Warriors Assistant Coaches Now In COVID-19 Protocols

Warriors assistant coach Chris DeMarco has joined Mike Brown in the NBA’s health and safety coronavirus protocols, per Ramona Shelburne of ESPN (Twitter link). It was first announced that Brown had entered COVID-19 protocols on Thursday.

Shelburne notes that Golden State will be missing Brown, DeMarco and Kenny Atkinson, the team’s top three assistants behind head coach Steve Kerr, ahead of its Christmas Day game tonight in Phoenix against the Suns.

Atkinson, who suffered a leg injury in October, recently returned to the Warriors’ bench, but still isn’t traveling with the team for road games, per Shelburne and Anthony Slater of The Athletic (via Twitter).

The matchup represents a contest between the two top teams, by record, in the entire NBA. The Suns are 26-5 on the year and have won their last five straight games. The Warriors are 26-6 and have won two consecutive contests. Each team has defeated the other once so far this season.

And-Ones: Wiseman, Barrett, Dedmon, Barbosa, DeMarco

The latest 2020 mock draft has Memphis freshman center James Wiseman going to the Knicks with the No. 1 pick. ESPN’s Jonathan Givony has Georgia guard Anthony Edwards going to the Cavaliers at No. 2 and North Carolina guard Cole Anthony heading to the Suns at No. 3.

We have more from around the basketball world:

Warriors Hire Mike Dunleavy Jr. As Scout

Mike Dunleavy Jr. will rejoin the Warriors as a pro scout, the team announced on its website.

Dunleavy played 15 NBA seasons, spending the first four and a half with Golden State. He last played for the Hawks at the end of the 2016/17 season.

The addition of Dunleavy was among several moves the Warriors made, including two promotions on the coaching staff. Bruce Fraser has been named an assistant coach and Chris DeMarco will be assistant coach/director of player development.

The team also hired Nick Kerr, son of head coach Steve Kerr, as assistant video coordinator. He previously held a similar position with the Spurs.

Pacific Notes: Walton, Warriors, Belinelli, Metta

The Warriors plan to hire the replacement for assistant coach Luke Walton from outside the organization, tweets Marc Stein of Stein notes that former Cavaliers coach David Blatt came close to joining Steve Kerr on Golden State’s bench in 2014 but adds that Blatt may not be willing to become an assistant now as he waits for his next head coaching job (Twitter link). The Warriors say they won’t look at candidates to take Walton’s place until they are finished with the playoffs (Twitter link).

There’s more news out of the Pacific Division:

  • Walton and Alvin Gentry, who left after last season to coach the Pelicans, could be the first of many Warriors assistants to land head coaching jobs, speculates Ethan Sherwood Strauss of Jarron Collins, another highly regarded Golden State assistant, could be next, and Strauss believes Chris DeMarco, Nick U’Ren and Theo Robertson may eventually follow. Kerr is a fan of all three, and their responsibilities in the organization are growing.
  • Kings swingman Marco Belinelli blasts the organization in an interview with Sky Sport Italy (h/t to Sportando). He believes the tension between former coach George Karl and star center DeMarcus Cousins created dissension on the team from the start of the season. Belinelli says executive Vlade Divac tried to broker peace between Karl and Cousins, but without much success. Belinelli adds that he saw “very bad stuff” in the Kings locker room and contrasts it to the atmosphere he was accustomed to in San Antonio. Belinelli has two years left on his contract with the Kings.
  • His improbable comeback with the Lakers this season has helped Metta World Peace find balance in his life, writes Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. The 36-year-old, who entered the NBA in 1999 as Ron Artest, was out of the league for a full season before earning a roster spot with L.A. last fall. “I always tell people there was only one black hole that was able to be a star again,” World Peace said of changing his reputation. “That was Ron Artest. There should be no turning back. Once you’re a black hole, you’re a black hole. But I was able to resurface and do what I had to do. And that’s something I’m proud of.”