SACRAMENTO – Man after man, question after question, the conflicting emotions hung heavy over the Warriors' locker room Wednesday night.
They won a game. They lost, symbolically, a little brother.
[INSTANT REPLAY: Warriors take care of Kings]
Kent Bazemore didn't play a lot; he hardly played at all in significant moments. The reserve guard almost certainly would not have played during the Warriors' 101-92 win over the Kings Wednesday night at Sleep Train Arena. The game was too tight.
And yet, Bazemore's pregame exit from the premises had an effect on the victorious locker room. Along with backup guard MarShon Brooks, Bazemore was traded minutes before tipoff to the Lakers for veteran guard Steve Blake.
[RELATED: Warriors acquire Blake from Lakers]
“That was probably the first one that I've been around that was kind of emotional,'' said wing Andre Iguodala, in his 10th season.
“Hate to see him go,'' Stephen Curry said.
“I hope that kid all the best,'' said Klay Thompson, six months older than Bazemore.
Said coach Mark Jackson: “It became a set-up game. We could have held our heads down . . . it got emotional before the game.''
Bazemore was the class clown, the court jester, one of the most noted bench jockeys in the NBA. Undrafted out of Old Dominion, he carved out a role mostly for his effort and spirit.
“If you're a Warriors fan, you know who he is and how energetic he is and how much he loves this team and this city,'' Curry said.
Bazemore, 24, will be missed, oddly enough more for his mere presence than anything he did on the court.