The game between Golden State and Atlanta was overshadowed by the emotional farewell to the prematurely deceased Serbian coach Dejan Milojević. The Warriors and coach Steve Kerr paid tribute to the assistant coach before the start of the game against the Hawks. Milojević passed away last Wednesday due to a heart attack he suffered at a team dinner in Salt Lake City. Due to the tragedy that befell the team, the Warriors postponed two games, making the match against Atlanta at the “Chase Center” their first game after Deki’s death.
Steve Kerr took the microphone before the game and delivered an extremely emotional speech. “The world lost a beautiful soul last week. Deki was a wonderful friend, an amazing basketball coach, a great man, and most importantly, a wonderful grandson, son, husband, and father,” said Kerr. “Smiles, joy, laughter – that was always present. He was a big part of us – he is a part of our soul,” added the visibly shaken American coach. “Instead of a moment of silence, I would like you to join me in paying tribute to Deki and his beautiful family. I would like all of us to give Deki the ovations he can hear in heaven,” Kerr concluded his touching speech.
The Serbian coach received thunderous applause and ovations, and the camera captured the tears on the faces of Deki’s closest family members – his wife Nataša, son Nikola, and daughter Maša. The Warriors players were visibly shaken. Klay Thompson and Draymond Green couldn’t hide their emotions, they cried during warmups. They took the court wearing special jerseys with the surname “MILOJEVIĆ”, and just before the start of the game, they took them off and placed them on a chair reserved for Deki. On it, there was already a black shirt with the inscription “BROTHER” and a white rose.