Steve Kerr will not serve as head coach for the Golden State Warriors on Monday as he is in Serbia and attended the funeral of former Warriors assistant coach Dejan Milojevic.
Steve Kerr will not coach the Warriors tonight in Utah. He is in Serbia for Dejan Milojevic’s services. Kenny Atkinson will be the acting head coach. Also in Serbia for the service: Mike Dunleavy, Chris DeMarco, Ron Adams, Zaza Pachulia, Rick Celebrini.
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) February 12, 2024
The 46-year-old died Jan. 17 in Utah after having a medical emergency during a team dinner. He was in his third season with the Warriors and worked with Denver Nuggets superstar Nikola Jokic earlier in his coaching career.
Warriors general manager Mike Dunleavy Jr. was among other members of the organization who attended the services in Milojevic’s home country.
Golden State had two games postponed in the aftermath of his death. Since then, they have won seven of 10 games heading into their meeting at the Utah Jazz on Monday. They are 25-25 and in 10th place in the Western Conference.
The tragedy is just part of what has been a very tumultuous season for the Warriors. Earlier in the campaign, Draymond Green was suspended twice for unsportsmanlike acts. The first was a five-game ban for putting Rudy Gobert of the Minnesota Timberwolves in a chokehold in November. The second was an indefinite suspension that ultimately became a 12-game ban for striking Jusuf Nurkic of the Phoenix Suns in the face in December.
The 33-year-old four-time NBA champion reportedly agreed to take part in counseling as a condition of him being reinstated.
Kerr’s future as Warriors head coach also has become a topic of speculation, with the 58-year-old in the final season of his contract. In addition, Klay Thompson has not been performing up to his previous standards and recently admitted it is hard watching other players on the court close out games instead of him. Offseason acquisition Chris Paul also has been sidelined since early January by a hand injury.
On top of all that, superstar Stephen Curry reportedly has been frustrated with the way the season has been going. Though the recent improved play may be somewhat encouraging, the Warriors do not seem like true championship contenders and may in fact still struggle to reach the play-in round.
But for now, their head coach and other members of the franchise will take the time to remember an important member of their organization who has passed away.