The basketball fraternity is in a state of deep mourning following the untimely death of Dejan Milojević, an assistant coach for the Golden State Warriors. Milojević, who had become an integral part of the basketball landscape both in the United States and his home country of Serbia, was widely respected for his profound knowledge and love of the game. His passing at the age of 46 has sent ripples of sorrow across the NBA, leaving many to reflect on his significant contributions to the sport.

Milojević’s career was marked by excellence, having excelled as a professional player before moving into coaching, where he notably influenced two-time NBA MVP Nikola Jokić among others. His transition to the NBA coaching scene saw him take up a vital role with the Warriors, where his skills and experience were viewed as invaluable assets to the team’s ongoing success.

During a team gathering on the evening of Tuesday, January 16, Milojević experienced a medical crisis that necessitated his hospitalisation in Salt Lake City. This emergency led the NBA to make the rare decision to postpone the Warriors’ forthcoming game against the Utah Jazz, highlighting the league’s concern for the welfare of its community. At present, the rescheduling of the game remains pending, with the basketball community awaiting further updates.

The Warriors organisation has publicly shared their profound sorrow over Milojević’s passing, stating their devastation at the news and extending their deepest sympathies to his family, friends, and colleagues. The team’s statement underscored the sense of shock felt by those who had the fortune to work alongside Milojević.

It was later confirmed by the team that Milojević’s death was due to a heart attack. The suddenness of his passing has left many struggling to come to terms with the void left by his departure. Milojević’s influence on the sport, especially through his mentorship and coaching acumen, has been of immense value and will be sorely missed.

The NBA’s decision to postpone the game in light of Milojević’s condition is a testament to the league’s prioritisation of its community’s health and welfare over rigid scheduling norms. This gesture underscores the deep respect and camaraderie that exists within the NBA family.

Tributes have poured in from all corners of the NBA universe, with players, coaches, and supporters expressing their shock and mourning through social media and other channels. The collective grief is a reflection of the impact Milojević had on the sport, as well as the personal connections he fostered throughout his career.

As the basketball community grapples with this loss, the legacy of Dejan Milojević’s passion for the game and his influence on the players he coached will endure. The Warriors, along with the wider NBA and its fan base, are united in offering their heartfelt condolences to Milojević’s loved ones during this challenging time. His passing is not only a loss to the team but to basketball as a whole.