1:17 PM — NBA commissioner Adam Silver just addressed the tragedy … saying, “The NBA mourns the sudden passing of Golden State assistant coach Dejan Milojević, a beloved colleague and dear friend to so many in the global basketball community.”
“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.”
“Our heartfelt condolences go out to his wife, Natasa, their children, Nikola and Masa, and the Warriors organization during this tragic time.”
Golden State Warriors assistant coach and former professional basketball player Dejan Milojević has passed away. He was just 46 years old.
Milojević suffered a heart attack during dinner at a Salt Lake City restaurant on Tuesday … and despite life-saving efforts, he tragically passed late Wednesday afternoon, the team revealed in a statement.
The Warriors were in Utah to face off against the Jazz — a game that was slated to go down Wednesday night, but has since been postponed.
The Serbian power forward went unpicked in the 1999 NBA Draft, but he had a stellar career in Europe nonetheless — winning ABA League MVP honors three straight times.
He also won the ABA scoring title in consecutive seasons.
Milojević’s playing career ended in 2009 … and he found success leading the bench for organizations in Serbia and Montenegro before joining the Warriors in 2021. He coached several future NBA players — most notably two-time NBA MVP Nikola Jokic.
He also spent time as an assistant coach for the Serbian national team.
On the Golden State staff, Milojević focused on helping the big men on the roster … and won a championship when the Warriors beat the Boston Celtics in the 2022 NBA Finals.
Warriors head coach Steve Kerr released a statement on Milojević’s passing … saying the entire organization is “devastated.”
“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 said.
“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, Natasha, and their children, Nikola and Masa. Their loss is unfathomable.”