The NBA's trade deadline is looming Thursday afternoon, and the Pelicans return to post-All-Star break action on Friday night.
Still, it was "a no-brainer," guard Eric Gordon said Thursday morning, for some members of the team and its front office to fly to Oklahoma City for the funeral of Ingrid Williams, the wife of former Pelicans coach Monty Williams, now an assistant with the Thunder.
Ingrid Williams was killed last Wednesday in an automobile accident. An Oklahoma City television station recently reported that the driver who crashed into Williams was traveling 92 miles per hour before impact. The speed limit on that stretch of road is 40 miles per hour, KOCO reported.
Monty and Ingrid Williams had five children.
"It's very devastating," Gordon said. "Still to this day I'm at a loss for words. The first thing you think about – definitely you think about the coach, but you think about the kids."
Pelicans players Anthony Davis and Ryan Anderson are among the group traveling to Oklahoma City, as is coach Alvin Gentry. Yahoo Sports reported that Clippers coach Doc Rivers plans to fly to Oklahoma City to attend the funeral as well.
"It's very important to me" to attend, Davis said.
A number of staff members and players will make the trip, Gentry said, but the entire team will not attend the funeral.
"I think the great thing about this organization is that they're very supportive of anyone that has been here," Gentry said. "They're very supportive of what Monty is going through with his family, and we just want to be there to support him. That's why we're going and some of the guys are going, because we want to be there to support him and his family."
One of those could include Anderson, a free agent at the end of the season who has been a much-discussed trade target in recent days. Though Anderson is anxious to learn whether he'll remain in New Orleans or be traded elsewhere, he said the funeral on Thursday was his primary focus.
"It's going to be a tough day," Anderson said. "I'm glad that a lot of the staff and my teammates are going to be able to go and be there for Monty and his family. It's going to be an emotional day. It's been an emotional time. That's kind of been the forefront of my thought process right now, if anything. I'm glad we can be there for him. But it will be a tough day."