Golden State Warriors assistant coach Dejan Milojević, a mentor to two-time NBA MVP Nikola Jokic and a former star player in his native Serbia, died Wednesday after suffering a heart attack, the team announced. Milojević, part of the staff that helped the Warriors win the 2022 NBA championship, was 46.

 

Milojević was hospitalized in Salt Lake City after suffering a medical emergency Tuesday night at a private team dinner, the Warriors said.

Warriors assistant coach Dejan Milojevic dies aged 46 after suffering heart  attack while 6ft 7 former Serbian basketball star dined with Golden State  coaches and players at a Salt Lake City restaurant |

 

“We are absolutely devastated by Dejan’s sudden passing,” coach Steve Kerr said Wednesday 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.”

The NBA postponed Golden State’s game that was to be played at Utah on Wednesday night. A rescheduled date was not immediately announced. The Jazz said tickets for Wednesday would be honored at the rescheduled game.

 

“You were not only a basketball master, you were an amazing human being,” Dylan Ennis, a longtime international pro who was coached by Milojević, wrote on Twitter. “You will be missed by so many.”

Milojević was in his third season with the Warriors . He previously coached in Serbia – where he once worked with a young Jokic before the now-Denver star came to the United States – along with Montenegro. He had been a head coach for eight years in Europe and previously was an assistant coach for the Serbian national team alongside current Atlanta assistant Igor Koskoskov.

 

He worked with Jokic, Los Angeles Clippers center Ivica Zubac, Orlando center Goga Bitadze and Houston center Boban Marjanovic, among others, during his time as a coach in Europe. Kerr said he originaly learned of Milojević from Kent Lacob, the son of Golden State owner Joe Lacob. And when the Warriors went through some staff changes in 2021, Kerr decided to pursue Milojević.

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