Tom Thibodeau began his pregame press conference by offering “heartfelt condolences” to the Warriors and the family of Golden State assistant coach Dejan Milojevic, who died Wednesday after suffering a heart attack the previous day.
“A tragic loss. He was a great ambassador to the game. So our thoughts and prayers go out to all of them,” Thibodeau said before Wednesday’s win over the Rockets at the Garden.
The 46-year-old Milojevic, a native of Serbia, was hospitalized Tuesday night in Salt Lake City after suffering a medical emergency at a private team dinner, according to the Warriors.
Milojevic had been a member of Steve Kerr’s coaching staff since 2021.
Josh Hart admitted he was unsure if he’d play Wednesday night due to soreness in his left knee, but he posted a double-double with 10 points — including eight in the fourth quarter — and 13 rebounds in 30 minutes off the bench.
“This season has definitely been interesting for me,” Hart said. “Normally I’d have 2 ¹/₂ months of more break [in the offseason]. I’m usually done April 12, and I was done May 12 last year. That was tough, and then obviously [played the] FIBA [World Cup with Team USA].
“So I’m trying to keep the body going. There was a little bit of knee soreness and I didn’t know if I was gonna go. But I woke up today feeling a little bit better.”
Thibodeau, who celebrated his 66th birthday on Thursday, offered a vague update on center Mitchell Robinson, who underwent ankle surgery in December with the hope of returning before the end of the regular season.
“He goes through the medical protocol, which is coming in and doing what they want him to do. So it’s moving along, and he’s doing well overall,” Thibodeau said.
The Knicks’ coach declined to answer whether Robinson is walking or running yet or still wearing a boot, before adding, “He’s doing good. There’s like four-week, six-week, eight-week [steps], so he’s just following the protocol, and every step he’s meeting the goals. He’s doing well, so we’re very pleased with that. And then hopefully soon he’ll be able to do more and you’ll see him more.”