The NBA world is mourning after the sudden death of Golden State Warriors assistant coach Dejan Milojevic on Wednesday.
Milojevic died at the age of 46 after suffering a heart attack, the team confirmed.
Milojevic was ill at a private team dinner on Tuesday and was taken to hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The Warriors said that “despite life-saving efforts,” Milojevic passed away late on Wednesday morning:
Golden State assistant coach Dejan Milojevic had died. Milojevic, 46, was hospitalized Tuesday in SLC in critical condition. After a decorated 15-year playing/coaching career, the Serbian native joined Warriors staff in 2021. He was a beloved figure in global and league circles.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 17, 2024
Darko Rajakovic spoke about what he told his team before the opening tipoff following the death of his friend Dejan Milojevic via TSN:
“I told my guys I love them. Opening play of the game was Decky (Dejan Milojević) my friend, I learned that play from him. And that’s what he brought to the NBA, that’s what he brought to Golden State. I stole that play from him and that was our opening play tonight and we were able to score…I dedicated this team win to our team and to Decky.”
“I told my guys I loved them.”
An emotional Darko Rajaković on his pre-game message to the Raptors.
Darko also dedicated the win to the late Dejan Milojević. pic.twitter.com/6kk2GdjRZC
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) January 18, 2024
The play Rajakovic ran in the the Raptors first possession of the game led to a Gary Trent Jr. three-pointer. The Raptors went on to beat the Miami Heat 121-97.
Rajakovic remembers Milojevic
Rajakovic said coaching was something Milojevic loved to do after retiring from playing.
Milojevic’s career included coaching Nikola Jokic and other NBA players in Serbia. Rajakovic said that his friend Milojevic dreamed of one day coaching the Serbian national team.
It was a very emotional day for Rajakovic and the entire NBA.
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