“We are absolutely devastated by Dejan’s sudden passing,” Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said. “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.”
Kerr described Milojević as a “positive” and “beautiful” person, and said he “brought joy and light to every single day.”
“We grieve with and for his wife, Natasa, and their children, Nikola and Masa,” Kerr said. “Their loss in unfathomable.”
Milojević was hospitalized in Salt Lake City on Tuesday after suffering a heart attack at a private team dinner, the Warriors’ statement said.
Hours earlier, the NBA had announced on X (formerly Twitter) that a game between the Warriors and the Utah Jazz scheduled for Wednesday night had been postponed due to “a medical emergency in the Warriors family.”
We are absolutely devastated by Dejan Milojević'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.
We grieve… pic.twitter.com/9wAyb1JXz8
— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) January 17, 2024
Milojević, a native of Serbia, was currently working in his third season as assistant coach with the Warriors. He was part of the coaching staff when the team won the 2022 NBA championship.
He previously served as head coach for an European basketball club in Montenegro called KK Budućnost Voli.
Prior to that he served as head coach of the Serbian basketball club KK Mega Bemax. He was named the assistant coach for the Serbian national team in 2019.
Milojević had played several years of professional basketball for the Adriatic League, winning three consecutive MVP awards in 2004, 2005 and 2006.
You changed my life in such a short time. The most important thing you ever told me was to just smile! Your joy and laughs will forever be missed. Shine down on us from heaven. Rest In Peace Dejan Milojević ❤️ https://t.co/ZpHQFCQ3f4
Warriors rookie Brandon Podziemski mourned his death on X on Wednesday.
“You changed my life in such a short time,” he wrote. “The most important thing you ever told me was to just smile! Your joy and laughs will forever be missed. Shine down on us from heaven. Rest In Peace Dejan Milojević.”
NBA commissioner Adam Silver released a statement on behalf of the league remembering Milojević as a “beloved colleague.”
“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,” he said.