Warriors coach Steve Kerr will miss tonight’s game at Utah so he can attend the funeral of former assistant coach Dejan Milojevic in Serbia, writes Kendra Andrews of ESPN. Kenny Atkinson will run the team in Kerr’s absence. Assistant coaches Chris DeMarco and Ron Adams, general manager Mike Dunleavy Jr. and basketball operations consultant Zaza Pachulia are also representing the team at the funeral.
Players admit there’s a surreal feeling to being back in Salt Lake City, where Milojevic suffered a heart attack at a team dinner following a January 16 game. He died in a hospital the following morning, and the team’s next two games were postponed. The Warriors welcomed members of Milojevic’s family to their practice facility on January 22, and his son, Nikola, spent time shooting and rebounding with Klay Thompson.
“Just to be able to tell him how much I loved his dad, all the great memories we built and made together, I just told him how grateful I am for his family and how proud of them he was,” Thompson said.
There’s more from the Pacific Division:
- The Suns were heavily rumored to be pursuing Hornets forward Miles Bridges, but general manager James Jones declined to confirm those trade talks, preferring to concentrate on the deals he actually made (video link from Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic). “We explored everything,” Jones said, “but at the end of the day, we’re talking about Royce O’Neale and David Roddy. Two guys I think are going to be exceptionally well for us, but yeah, we talked about a lot of guys.”
- Jones also responded to a question about a potential extension with Grayson Allen this summer, indicating the Suns will be open to the possibility (video link from Gerald Bourguet of PHNX Sports). “We don’t want him to go anywhere, which is why he’s here,” Jones said. “There’s plenty of interest in Grayson Allen, but no one values him more than we do.”
- Lakers players are excited to welcome Spencer Dinwiddie to the team, per Khobi Price of The Orange County Register. The former Nets guard, who signed with L.A. on Saturday, is expected to participate in today’s practice and be in uniform for Tuesday’s game against Detroit. “He’s a big guard, a shot-maker,” Anthony Davis said. “We’ve seen what he did with Brooklyn, what he did with Dallas, making big plays for them. He’s a well-established player, a vet in this league.”