San Francisco – The Golden State Warriors resumed practice for the first time since the sudden passing of assistant coach, Dejan Milojevic. The shock hasn’t worn off and the emotions are still present, but the team will move on with some amazing memories and a new focus in what Milojevic brought to the team.
Warriors head coach Steve Kerr spoke with the media for the first time since Milojevic shocking death last week. Kerr thanked the NBA Commissioner Adam Silver for postponing two games against the Utah Jazz and Dallas Mavericks. He also thanked the teams involved as he knows the made-up games will complicate their schedules. An emotional Kerr did talk about the memory of Milojevic and what his country meant to him.
The black and white t-shirt (BRATE – Serbian word for brother on the front and with “Deki” Milojevic’s nickname on the back. With a small heart with ‘DM” in the upper left corner) Kerr was wearing is something the team thought of after Milojevic’s passing. He mentioned that the team would send these t-shirts overseas to Serbia to his family and former teams he coached as a token of appreciation for what Milojevic meant to the team and the NBA.
Milojevic was a big man’s coach and was very close to Kevon Looney, Draymond Green, and Dario Saric. Looney spoke with the media about his relationship with Milojevic and what he’ll take away as a player and friend. Both Looney and Kerr joked about how direct Milojevic was in describing what he wanted to see from players and the team.
“I literally could picture Deki smiling, laughing, and saying, ‘You motherf—ers need to go win a basketball game,” Kerr said. “We are going to do everything we can to win and we’re going to enjoy life no matter what. That’s who he was and how we’re going to continue.”
The NBA and players have sent their condolences for “Deki” through their teams and their own personal messages on social media. The Warriors are planning something big before they host the Atlanta Hawks at Chase Center this upcoming Wednesday. The t-shirts they wore today at practice will be available around the NBA. The team will honor their assistant coach throughout the year but will make their first game back a little more special.
“Wednesday will be unbelievably emotional,” said explained. “There is no handbook for this. We will honor “Deki” the best way we know on Wednesday night. We will be there to play a basketball game. We will find a way to mourn and grieve and play all in the same evening.”