The Golden State Warriors and the Atlanta Hawks came together at the Chase Center, setting aside their competitive spirit to honor the memory of late Warriors assistant coach Dejan Milojevic.
Players and staff from both teams stood side by side, donning matching shirts with the word “Brate,” the Serbian for “brother,” a heartfelt nod to Milojevic’s Serbian heritage. The shirts, marked with Milojevic’s initials “DM” and his affectionate nickname “Deki,” symbolized the profound impact he had on those around him. Follow your favourite NBA team with attractive betting odds from Nextbet, one of the best basketball gambling sites.
The tribute extended beyond apparel, with the Warriors players wearing special jerseys adorned with Milojevic’s name, a gesture that spoke volumes about the deep respect and admiration they held for their late coach.
The air at the Chase Center was heavy with emotion as Warriors coach Steve Kerr addressed the crowd, not with a request for a moment of silence, but with a call for an ovation “that he can hear up in heaven.” The crowd’s response was a resounding minute-long applause, a testament to Milojevic’s legacy and the love he garnered throughout his life and career.
The ceremony reached a touching crescendo with the playing of the Serbian national anthem, paying homage to Milojevic’s roots, followed by the U.S. national anthem. In a symbolic act of remembrance, the Warriors players placed their tribute jerseys on the seat Milojevic occupied during his tenure with the team, a seat now marked by a single white rose and the “Brate” T-shirts worn by the staff.
The presence of Milojevic’s family, his wife Natasha and children Nikola and Masa, added a deeply personal dimension to the tribute. The sight of the family, just a few rows behind the team’s management, being presented with white roses while tears streamed down their faces, captured the profound sense of loss and the enduring connection between Milojevic and the Warriors family.
Coach Steve Kerr, visibly moved, shared his thoughts in a pregame news conference, reflecting on the raw, surreal nature of the loss and the challenge of preparing his team for such a moment.
“It’s still very emotional because it’s still very, very raw and surreal in a lot of ways,” Kerr said, acknowledging the unity and support within the team as they navigate this difficult time. The image of the Warriors players, huddled near their bench, arms around each other, some sharing long hugs, spoke volumes about the collective grief and the strength they drew from one another.
In honoring Dejan Milojevic, the Golden State Warriors and the Atlanta Hawks demonstrated the profound impact an individual can have on a community and the unifying power of shared love and respect. As the game commenced, it was clear that every dribble, every shot, and every play was not just for victory, but in memory of a beloved coach, mentor, and “brother” – Deki. Get the latest updates from the NBA only on Nextbet Sports.