Golden State Warriors Mourn the Loss of Assistant Coach Dejan Milojevic

Golden State Warriors assistant coach Dejan Milojevic, a pivotal figure in the team’s 2022 NBA championship win and mentor to NBA MVP Nikola Jokic, tragically passed away at 46 in Utah after suffering a heart attack during a team dinner. Dejan, who played a key role in the Warriors’ success, had been hospitalized after the medical emergency.

“We are absolutely devastated by Dejan’s sudden passing,” coach Steve Kerr said in a statement released by the team. “This is a shocking and tragic blow for everyone associated with the Warriors and an incredibly difficult time for his family, friends, and all of us who had the incredible pleasure to work with him.”

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver also mourned Dejan’s passing, highlighting his impact on the global basketball community: “The NBA mourns the sudden passing of Golden State assistant coach Dejan Milojević, a beloved colleague and dear friend to so many in the global basketball community.  In addition to winning the 2022 NBA championship in his first season with the Warriors and mentoring some of the best players in the world, Dejan had a decorated international playing career and was a distinguished head coach in his native Serbia.  Our heartfelt condolences go out to his wife, Natasa, their children, Nikola and Masa, and the Warriors organization during this tragic time”

Dejan, in his third season with the Warriors, previously coached in Europe and served as a head coach for eight years. His expertise extended to working with prominent players, including Jokic, Ivica Zubac, Goga Bitadze, and Boban Marjanovic. Kevon Looney, a Warrior player, praised Milojević’s attention to detail.

The coach’s influence reached beyond the court, fostering strong relationships with players. Luka Doncic paid tribute, writing, “Rest in peace, Deki.”

Kerr, impressed by Milojević’s basketball background, successfully recruited him to the Warriors’ coaching staff.

Milojević, a former MVP in the Adriatic League, stood out for his remarkable achievements as both a player and coach. His basketball philosophy emphasized enjoying the game, rooted in a sincere love for the sport. Before joining the Warriors, he gained NBA experience through Summer League coaching stints.

The sports community poured in tributes, acknowledging Milojević’s impact. Sacramento coach Mike Brown praised him as “an extremely talented coach” and “an even better person.” Dylan Ennis, a player coached by Milojević, remembered him as a “basketball master” and an “amazing human being.”

The rescheduled date for the Warriors-Jazz game was pending announcement. Milojević is survived by his wife, Natasa, and their children, Nikola and Masa, with Kerr expressing the team’s profound grief over the irreplaceable loss.

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