Teary-Eyed Steve Kerr Reminisces Late “Brother” Dejan Milojevic Ahead of Warriors vs Hawks: “Dive in Head First”

Published 01/24/2024, 9:07 PM EST

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USA Today via Reuters

Just two days ago, Steve Kerr, for the first time, openly discussed the grieving situation within the franchise. The Golden State Warriors faced a tragic loss last week when assistant coach Dejan Milojevic passed away in a Utah hospital. The coach suffered a heart attack during a team dinner. He was subsequently hospitalized. The NBA, in response, postponed all the Warriors’ games, resulting in a week-long hiatus.

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However, now, Steve Kerr and the Warriors are gearing up to take the court in their game against the Atlanta Hawks. Kerr once again broached the delicate subject before the game. His response conveyed that the team is still grappling with the trauma of the incident, despite their determination to resume playing.

While addressing the franchise’s efforts to honor Dejan, Kerr described the situation as “raw” and “surreal,” being inside the arena for the first time without Milojevic. Kerr shared that the team, despite feeling uncertain about how to move forward, has been practicing in the last few days. Nevertheless, he emphasized that the best approach for them right now is to “dive in headfirst, stay together, go try to win a basketball game, and honor our brother.”

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Joining the coaching staff in 2021, Milojevic made significant contributions that extended beyond the court. His impact played a crucial role in the Warriors securing the 2022 NBA championship. Moreover, he led the growth of several young players and played a substantial role in acquiring new talents, with the latest example being the addition of Dario Saric.

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How are Steve Kerr and the Warriors paying tribute to Milojevic?

A wave of tributes for Dejan Milojevic has swept across the globe. Starting from the Warriors cast players leading the charge through social media and press conferences, expressing the profound impact the late assistant coach had on their lives. Additionally, fans of the teams he coached and played for in the ABA Liga in Europe passionately chanted his name before a recent clash. The arena created an emotional spectacle as the Warriors players witnessed the tribute.

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In a touching display of solidarity, the Warriors wore special black t-shirts during their Monday practice, adorned with the word ‘Brate,’ meaning brother in Serbian— also a term Milojevic warmly used for everyone on the team. The shirts also featured a heart over the area corresponding to their hearts, bearing his initials ‘DM.’ Now, the Warriors extend the same tribute into their upcoming game with additional plans to honor Milojevic, ensuring his legacy lives on within the team.

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Written by:

Saahil Dhillan

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“Places you go in life – it opens your eyes up and you kind of understand who you are.” - This is my philosophy in life. I want to go to innumerable places and get inspired by the people and experiences I come across, just like Dwayne Wade.
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