Lakers News: Darvin Ham Offers Condolences After Death Of Warriors Assistant Dejan Milojević
Dejan Milojević Warriors
Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA world received shocking news on Wednesday when it was announced that Golden State Warriors assistant coach Dejan Milojević passed away of a sudden heart attack while at a team dinner on Tuesday night in Salt Lake City. It sent shockwaves throughout the league, as he was a highly respected figure, and it gave the chance for many coaches, including Los Angeles Lakers head coach Darvin Ham, to reflect on his impact.

Ham and Milojević never crossed paths in the NBA, as the three-time ABA League MVP only coached in the NBA for four years, but he was well-regarded for his work with centers around the league. He was especially known for his work with Nikola Jokić during his eight years as a head coach in Serbia. Ham got an up close look at that work during last season’s Western Conference Finals.

The Lakers coach gave his thoughts on Milojević’s passing and what the Warriors assistant meant to the NBA community.

“It’s a sobering situation,” Ham said. “We get caught up in this basketball world, this NBA world, and you tend to forget about life, just natural life.

“That’s an unbelievable loss, our prayers and condolences go out to their coaching staff, their organization, their team. Very unfortunate situation. I’ve engaged Dejan many times and it’s always been smiles, laughs, well wishes. It’s heart-breaking, our prayers and condolences go out to them.”

Milojević was only 47 years old when he passed away on Wednesday morning in Salt Lake City. Ham admits that in the swing of the NBA calendar, it’s easy to forget about the human side of things, and moments like this are a painful reminder of that.

It shows Milojević’s beloved nature that even a coach who never officially crossed paths with him can have nothing but kind words to say. In only four years with the NBA, that’s the type of impact he had.

Lakers-Nets airing on ESPN due to Warriors-Mavericks postponement

The Warriors’ last two games — against the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night and the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night — were postponed by the NBA due to Milojević’s death. The Warriors and Mavericks were supposed to be a nationally teleivsed matchup on ESPN.

Instead, the Lakers meeting with the Brooklyn Nets took over as the second part of the doubleheader that also included the Denver Nuggets visiting the Boston Celtics in a highly anticipated heavyweight bout.

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