Dejan Milojević

Warriors assistant dies after suffering heart attack


Warriors assistant coach Dejan Milojević has died after suffering a medical emergency in Salt Lake City, Utah, the team announced Wednesday.

Milojević was hospitalized Tuesday night after suffering a heart attack at a private team dinner. Despite life-saving efforts, Milojević died Wednesday morning.

Milojević, who was born in Serbia, was 46.

“We are absolutely devastated by Dejan’s sudden passing,” Warriors 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.

"In addition to being a terrific basketball coach, Dejan was one of the most positive and beautiful human beings I have ever known, someone who brought joy and light to every single day with his passion and energy. We grieve with and for his wife, Natasa, and their children, Nikola and Masa. Their loss is unfathomable.”

Milojević was in his third season as an assistant coach with the Warriors after a well-decorated 14-year international playing career, including stints in Serbia, Spain and Turkey.

After his retirement, Milojević became the head coach of Serbian team Mega Vizura. Nearly one decade later, Golden State hired him as an assistant coach where he essentially was assigned to work closely with former No. 2 pick and 7-foot center James Wiseman. But when injuries derailed the start of Wiseman's NBA career, Milojević turned his focus to Draymond Green and Kevon Looney.

He also has been credited for helping Looney improve his rebounding in recent years, which has become a significant part of Looney's game.

The Warriors were in Salt Lake City preparing for Wednesday's game against the Utah Jazz. After the incident, the NBA postponed the contest that will be played at a TBD date.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver issued a statement Wednesday afternoon on the passing of Milojević.

Sacramento Kings coach Mike Brown, who was an assistant with Golden State for six seasons, also weighed in on Milojević's passing.

“I am absolutely heartbroken by Dejan’s passing," Brown said in a statement. "I had the pleasure of working with Dejan during my time with the Warriors. Not only was he an extremely talented coach, he was an even better person. I join the entire basketball community in grieving his loss. My thoughts are with his wife, Natasa, and their children, Nikola and Masa.”

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