When the Atlanta Hawks get back to work on Friday night, kicking off the home stretch of their push to a 10th straight playoff berth by taking on the Miami Heat, they will do so without their starting point guard. From the Hawks’ Friday announcement:
Atlanta Hawks guard Dennis Schröder has been suspended by the organization for one game without pay for failure to report to the team on time after the all-star break. He will serve his one-game suspension tonight when the Hawks host the Miami Heat.
“Dennis has played an important role for our team and been a significant contributor to our success this season,” President of Basketball Operations/Head Coach Mike Budenholzer said. “We are disappointed that he did not return to the team on time and we have discussed this with him.”
After the Hawks dropped a 99-84 decision to the Los Angeles Clippers to head into the All-Star break at 32-24, Schröder shared via social media his excitement at getting to return to his native Germany for a few days:
— Dennis Schröder (@DennisMike93) February 16, 2017
— Dennis Schröder (@DennisMike93) February 18, 2017
S/O to @nike for always keeping me fresh ????????????????????????????????????????????
NikeTown Berlin ????????????????????????????????#iBelieve #SchrodersSwagTeam#DS17 #FG#TeamBros #TheGoldenPatch pic.twitter.com/dBirQwxjvA
— Dennis Schröder (@DennisMike93) February 21, 2017
Unfortunately for Schröder, getting back into the U.S. was apparently not as easy as getting out of it, as a “visa problem” prevented his return in time for the Hawks’ Wednesday practice. The issue was resolved on Thursday:
— Dennis Schröder (@DennisMike93) February 24, 2017
… but Schröder’s still going to pay the penalty for his tardiness. From Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal Constitution:
Schroder returned to his native Germany for the All-Star break but did not bring his visa to return to the United States. He missed the Hawks post-break practices on Wednesday and Thursday.
“I replaced my passport and didn’t realize that I had to put my new visa in there,” Schroder said Friday. “The Hawks organization and the NBA tried to get me as soon as possible a meeting with the consulate. We didn’t make it in time. I’m sorry for me, my teammates and the organization.”
Schroder said he got back in Atlanta at 11 p.m. Thursday after getting the necessary paperwork in Berlin. Schroder said he got a new passport before the team’s last trip to Toronto earlier this season but did not put his visa with the credentials. […]
“Dennis and I had a good conversation that I’m going to keep between him and I,” said Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer. “I think his growth and understanding what is important to his teammates and the organization, he’s in a good place and he understands what is important.”
Schroder said he was disappointed with the circumstances but accepted the decision.
“I have to accept it,” Schroder said. “Coach said something and I listened to him. I’ll focus on the next game. … I am disappointed that it happened.”
With Schröder inactive and Thabo Sefolosha working his way back from a left groin injury, Budenholzer said Friday that the Hawks will start veteran point guard Malcolm Delaney (getting his first career NBA start) and resurgent swingman Tim Hardaway Jr. in the backcourt against Miami. Schröder’s expected to be back on the floor against the Orlando Magic on Saturday night … and, next time he’s got to travel internationally, to make sure he’s got all his paperwork in order before he heads to the airport.
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