The Warriors and Steve Kerr honored late assistant Dejan Milojevic on Wednesday at the Chase Center as they prepared to play their first home game since the coach’s sudden death last week.
Milojevic died last Wednesday after suffering a heart attack the night before at a team dinner in Salt Lake City. The Warriors had two games postponed after the tragic incident.
Warriors coach Kerr addressed the Chase Center crowd before Golden State played the Hawks on Wednesday.
‘The world lost a beautiful soul last week. Deki was a wonderful friend, a hell of a basketball coach, a great man and most importantly a beautiful grandson, son, husband and father,’ Kerr said.
‘… The smile, the joy, the laughter – it was ever present. And what he meant to us was a huge part of who we are – he’s a part of our soul.’
Klay Thompson is seeing wearing a ‘BRATE’ shirt before the Warriors-Hawks game
Kerr’s speech was followed by a round of applause from the crowd.
A photo of a smiling Milojevic was displayed on the jumbotron prior to the game, with the message ‘FOREVER OUR BROTHER’ written.
Players also warmed up with shirts that read ‘BRATE,’ which means ‘brother’ in Serbian – Milojevic’s native tongue.
The team saved a seat on the bench for the coach, placing a ‘BRATE’ shirt and flower over it
Additionally, the Chase Center court featured the initials ‘DM’ painted inside a heart behind the basket, while players will also wear ‘DM’ patches on their jerseys for the rest of the NBA season as a tribute to the coach.
There was also a seat saved for the coach on the bench, with jerseys bearing his last name placed on it, as well as a ‘BRATE’ shirt and a white flower.
The Warriors’ X account also posted a video of the players warming up before the game, captioning it ‘Forever with us, Deki.’
Milojevic, 46, was part of the coaching staff that helped the Warriors win the 2022 NBA championship.