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March 1, 2024

Warriors Assistant Coach Dejan Milojević Dies Suddenly at Age 46

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Jan 18, 2024

The NBA community is mourning the sudden loss of Golden State Warriors assistant coach Dejan Milojević, who died at the age of 46 after suffering a heart attack while having dinner with the team in Salt Lake City.

Lead Up to Tragedy Strikes During Team Dinner

The Warriors were in Utah to take on the Jazz when the tragedy struck on the evening of January 17th, 2023. The team had gathered for dinner at Valter’s Osteria in downtown Salt Lake City, when Milojević collapsed around 8:30pm local time (Source 1, Source 2).

He was immediately transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The Warriors’ game against the Jazz, scheduled for later that evening, was swiftly postponed by the NBA as news of the tragedy spread (Source 3).

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr and general manager Bob Myers accompanied Milojević to the hospital while the rest of the team remained at the hotel in shock over the sudden loss of their beloved colleague and friend (Source 1).

Outpouring of Grief from NBA Community

As word spread of Milojević’s untimely passing, there was an outpouring of grief and condolences from across the NBA community.

Fellow coaches such as Ime Udoka, Joe Mazzulla, Tyronn Lue and Monty Williams expressed their sadness over the tragic news and offered condolences to Milojević’s family and the Warriors organization (Source 4, Source 5).

Stars like Luka Dončić and Nikola Jokić, who was mentored by Milojević on the Serbian national team, penned heartfelt tributes on social media praising Coach Milojević’s profound impact on their careers (Source 6).

“We are devastated by the loss of Coach Dejan Milojević,” said Warriors guard Stephen Curry. “Dejan was a great friend, outstanding coach, and wonderful human being. He brought joy to the game and had a tremendous spirit that inspired everyone around him. Our hearts are heavy but we find comfort in all the special memories and smiles he brought to our team. We will miss you, Coach.” (Source 7)

Utah Jazz governor Ryan Smith also released a statement expressing the franchise’s sadness over the tragedy that struck while the Warriors were visiting their city (Source 8).

“The Utah Jazz are deeply saddened by the sudden and tragic loss of Golden State Warriors assistant coach Dejan Milojević,” said Smith. “Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to his family, to his players and colleagues, and to the entire Warriors organization. Though our teams compete on the court, we stand united as one NBA family during times like these.”

Biography and Coaching Career

Dejan Milojević was born in 1977 in Serbia, where he played professionally for over 15 years before retiring in 2012. He began his coaching career in Europe, serving as an assistant for powerhouse clubs such as Partizan Belgrade before joining the staff of the Serbian men’s national basketball team.

Season Team Position

|2012-2014|Partizan Belgrade|Assistant Coach
|2014-2019|Serbian Men’s National Team|Assistant Coach
|2019-2024|Golden State Warriors|Assistant Coach

In 2019, Milojević achieved his dream of coaching in the NBA when he was hired by the Warriors as an assistant coach under Steve Kerr. He became known for forging close bonds with players and for his intellectually curious approach to the game.

“Dejan was incredibly beloved…he had this very special way of connecting with people,” said Kerr. “He brought passion, intellect and fun to everything he did, and he lived life to the fullest.” (Source 9)

Over the past five seasons, Coach Milojević played an integral role behind the scenes in developing Warriors stars and implementing game strategies. He focused on big man development and crafting game plans.

Despite his sudden passing at just 46 years old, Milojević made the most of his short time in the NBA and left an indelible impact on players and colleagues across the league.

What Comes Next for the Warriors

In the wake of this immense tragedy, the Warriors franchise now faces the difficult task of coping with the loss while trying to regroup and move forward with the season.

The team canceled its scheduled practice on January 18th and will likely take more time to grieve before returning to basketball activities (Source 10). The NBA has not yet announced when the postponed game against the Jazz will be rescheduled for.

It remains to be seen what the long term plan will be for filling Coach Milojevic’s role, but for now the Warriors are focused on honoring their lost friend. The team has not looked far beyond the immediate pain of this devastating loss as they process the grief.

The organization did announce that they will honor Milojević with a moment of silence before home games, and players will wear a special commemorative patch on their jerseys reading “In memory of Dejan Milojević 1977-2023.” (Source 11)

While the team and NBA community grapple with this immense loss, the legacy of Dejan Milojevic’s vibrant spirit, brilliant mind and caring heart will live on in the lives he touched. Though gone too soon, he made a profound impact during his time in the league.

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AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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