Will Dejan Milojevic’s Passing Be the Turning Point for Stephen Curry and the Warriors’ Season?

The Golden State Warriors organization went into mourning. A precious and dedicated member of their team sadly passed away. Dejan Milojević tragically passed away after suffering a heart attack in Utah. It was a disturbing sight for those present at the team’s dinner, which was 75% of the staff ESPN reported.

Milojevic joined the organization in 2021. The Serbian has been the assistant coach through all the trends of the Warriors. His personality was powerful and huge. He left a mark in his short time at the Warriors facility. His passing left a hole in the camp. The NBA, understanding the gravity of pain, allowed the GSW to take some time off and honor the member of their team.

Now, after two games were postponed, Stephen Curry and the Warriors will return to face the Atlanta Hawks. The times are still somber, but they have to trot forward.

The Warriors are still feeling empty without Dejan Milojević

After taking time to cope, the Golden State Warriors held their first practice at the facility. The arena had a massive poster for Milojevic as a tribute. They began the practice with another heartwarming tribute. For fifteen minutes, they watched a tribute in Belgrade, the assistant coach’s hometown.

In a game between Mega Basket and Partizan, two teams Dejan was involved with, the crowd did its job. In the stunning tribute, the noise didn’t stop as Milojevic’s face appeared on the jumbotron. It was the perfect way to open practice and also settle emotions. The Warriors took another hour to gather themselves before beginning practice.

Steve Kerr was the first to speak to the media and express the grief that the entire organization is feeling.

“Heartbreaking. Devastating. It’s the saddest thing I have ever been a part of in the NBA … The last five days have been full of the shock, the emotion, the extreme outpouring of love from all over the world,” he said as per ESPN.

For those who didn’t know, Milojevic was brought in especially to work on centers. Kevon Looney, the championship piece for the Warriors, worked closely with the Serb. From the moment he stepped on the court, something felt “different”. So much so that he decided to practice on another hoop altogether. He even acknowledged that the only way to heal is for him to immerse himself back into the game.

But after such a traumatizing loss, can the Warriors walk the same path as before?

Stephen Curry and the Warriors know they need to compete to honor Milojevic

What’s important in such gloomy times is finding the right way to make peace with what’s happened. It’s about moving on together and honoring the individual who dedicated years of his service for the betterment of the organization. At the media conference, Kerr was spotted wearing a black shirt with the initial ‘DM’ printed on, a way to remember the Serbian coach.

The franchise is also planning to find a way to pay tribute to Milojevic all season long.

In the rush of such things, it’s easy to lose sight of the season objective – go as far as possible. For the Warriors, they are stuck badly. After 40 games the Warriors are 12th, four games below the .500 mark. A series of troublesome circumstances and other obstacles have seen them sink. Just as Draymond Green returned, Klay Thompson looked vigorous and Wiggins settled. They had to face this tragedy. Can they recover from it in such a short span?

USA Today via Reuters

As far as Steve Kerr is concerned, the head coach knows the best way they can honor Dejan Milojević’s legacy. Thanks to advice from team advisor Ron Adams, he is simply thinking – what would Milojevic do?

When turning to the media, Kerr said he could piece an image of the Serbian coach willing on the team and cursing them out to compete. ” ‘You motherf—ers need to go win a basketball game’,” is what he envisioned him telling Curry and the others. So, probably that’s exactly what they are going to do!

Even though they haven’t figured out just how they can rise from the challenge, Kerr knows that basketball has to be played, and so does Looney and everyone else on the team. The greatest way to remember and pay their respect to Milojevic is to play great basketball again. No wonder the first few games will be tough. There is a hole that can’t just be filled so soon.

But it’s a motivation for the falling Warriors. They are going to empty their tanks if it means it would honor Milojevic. He will be remembered through every possession, every win, or loss. All they do from here on out will be for him. It’s bigger than just any record. Stephen Curry and Co will look to play the right way and do their best.

Several areas need to be improved upon. They need an organized defense, a spaces offense, and a leader to achieve these goals. Green is back for that job. Rest everyone has to be on board for the Warriors to have a successful season. What we will see from here is a fight in itself, to persevere and play even when their hearts are heavy.

I don’t know if they will end up in the playoffs, but what I see is the passion with which they are ready to roar. A newfound energy and aura surrounds them. The game against the Hawks will be the moment a new season begins for them – one that they play for Dejan.

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