Warriors seek to overcome painful memories of last trip to Utah originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area
When the Warriors landed in Salt Lake City on Sunday for a game against the Jazz on Monday night, it was impossible to avoid the painful memories of their last trip to Utah.
For it was there, on Jan. 16, that Dejan “Deki” Milojević, their gregarious and beloved assistant coach, sustained a heart attack that claimed his life the next day.
The experience shook the entire traveling party and was particularly traumatic for those who witnessed Milojević in distress before he was taken to the Intensive Care Unit at University of Utah Hospital.
Nearly four weeks later, it’s still raw and it still hurts. Not on the trip were coach Steve Kerr, assistants Ron Adams and Chris DeMarco, general manager Mike Dunleavy, consultant Zaza Pachulia and vice president and health and performance Dr. Rick Celebrini. They were in Belgrade, Serbia to attend the memorial service for Milojević.
So, assistant coach Kenny Atkinson moved into the head coaching seat and chose to address the inescapable thoughts within the team.
“It’s obviously not the ideal situation in a lot of senses,” Atkinson told reporters before tipoff against the Jazz. “Obviously, there’s the personal standpoint. And adding on that we’re here in Utah, where Deki had the incident. It’s tough.
“But this is what we do in our jobs as professionals. We’ve got to move forward but, also, remember it. We talked about it this morning with the players.”
The message was for everyone to always remember Milojević and what he stood for as a man and a coach – but also remember the purpose of being there as a team.
The tragic events of Jan. 16-17 changed Milojević’s family – wife Nataša, son Nikola and daughter Maša – but also changed Golden State’s routine in Salt Lake City. For the better part of a decade, trips to Utah usually meant dinner at Valter’s Osteria, an upscale Italian eatery in downtown Salt Lake.
No longer. And not because the quality of the food has declined. It’s because going back would stir harrowing memories of their last…
Source link : https://sports.yahoo.com/warriors-seek-overcome-painful-memories-021948568.html
Author : NBC Sports BayArea
Publish date : 2024-02-13 02:19:48
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