Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer missed Celtics game

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Mike Budenholzer missed Atlanta Hawks missed Atlanta Hawks 106-93 victory over Boston because of a family emergency.

Budenholzer traveled with the team, but later returned to Atlanta early Friday. The team asked the public to “respect the private nature of the situation.”

Hawks assistant coach Kenny Atkinson, who took care of the pregame media duties, and coached the Hawks (8-3) against the Celtics said “obviously Bud had an emergency family situation, and I think we’re all respecting his privacy and our thoughts are with him obviously, and his family we’re all pretty close with.”

“First and foremost, thinking about Bud and his family. I’m close with them,” Atkinson said. “My family’s close with his family. That’s first and foremost and then all of a sudden you’re thrown into this, ‘Oh my gosh, I’ve got to coach today.’ Bud’s advice to me was get this team prepared and ready, and that’s kind of my job. But really, the premier thought is with his family and him, but we also have a job to do tonight and we tried to prepare the best we could and keep our guys in a normal routine.”

Budenholzer, who took over as president of basketball operations this season after GM Danny Ferry left, is in his third season as Atlanta’s coach. Last year the Hawks achieved a franchise-record of 60 wins and a spot in the Eastern Conference finals. He was named the NBA’s coach of the year.

“I just want to keep us on a routine, our normal routine, from shoot around to what we do pregame, just keep our guys on a normal routine,” Atkinson said. “But, you know, this group’s been together for a while now. It’s a pretty close-knit group, obviously close with Bud, so it’ll be interesting to see how they react tonight with all the emotions and everything that’s going on.”


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