The basketball world is in mourning following the sudden death of Golden State Warriors assistant coach Dejan Milojević.
In a tragic turn of events, Dejan Milojević, a prominent figure in the Golden State Warriors' coaching staff, passed away at age after a heart attack during a team dinner in Salt Lake City.
Dejan Milojević, aged 46, was a key figure in the Warriors' coaching setup, joining the team in 2019. He brought a wealth of international experience to the NBA following a successful coaching stint in Serbia and Montenegro. His sudden passing has shocked the sports community.
Before joining the Warriors, Milojević had a distinguished career as a coach in Europe. He played a pivotal role in the development of Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokić, contributing significantly to his early career. Milojević's coaching pedigree was further established through successful periods with various teams in the NBA Summer League.
His playing career was equally illustrious, marked by a 14-year tenure in professional basketball. Milojević's talent was recognized with three Adriatic League MVP awards. He also led his teams to notable victories in the Serbian Cup and the Montenegrin League and Cup titles, cementing his legacy in European basketball.
The news of Milojević's passing came as a profound shock. It occurred during a private dinner with the team in Salt Lake City on January 17, 2024. This unforeseen medical emergency, a heart attack, led to the immediate postponement of the Warriors' game against the Utah Jazz, originally scheduled for January 18.
Steve Kerr, head coach of the Warriors, expressed the team's deep sorrow. He stated:
We are absolutely devastated by Dejan’s sudden passing. 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.
The NBA community, having lost a beloved figure, is in a state of grief. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver also shared his condolences, acknowledging Milojević's significant contributions to basketball at both the international and national levels.
Milojević's impact on basketball extended far beyond his coaching accolades. His mentorship of young players, especially Nikola Jokić, played a critical role in shaping their careers. His coaching philosophy, rooted in his European experience, brought a unique perspective to the NBA.
His tenure with the Warriors was marked by success, contributing to their 2022 NBA championship victory. This achievement highlighted Milojević's ability to adapt and thrive in the competitive landscape of the NBA, a testament to his coaching acumen.
Dejan Milojević's journey in basketball was remarkable, traversing various roles and leagues. From his playing days in Europe to his coaching career, he left an indelible mark on the sport.
His international achievements also mark Milojević's legacy. He was crucial to the Serbia and Montenegro national teams, contributing to their gold medal victories in the 1998 Euro 22 & Under and the 2001 EuroBasket tournaments. These accomplishments highlight his significant role in the global basketball scene.
The basketball community is mourning the loss of Dejan Milojević, assistant coach of the Golden State Warriors, who died at age 46 from a heart attack during a team dinner in Salt Lake City on January 17.
Milojević, a significant figure in basketball, joined the Warriors in 2019 after a successful coaching and playing career in Europe, notably mentoring NBA star Nikola Jokić. His passing led to the postponement of the Warriors' game against the Utah Jazz. Head coach Steve Kerr and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver expressed deep sorrow and respect for Milojević's sports contributions.
His legacy includes a rich coaching career, impactful mentorship, and significant achievements in European and NBA basketball, including contributing to the Warriors' 2022 championship victory.