Steve Kerr says coaches took shot of Serbian liquor pregame to honor Dejan Milojevic

Jesse Cinquini
3 Min Read
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Golden State Warriors coaching staff downed a shot of Serbian liquor prior to their matchup against the Atlanta Hawks on Jan. 24 in memory of former assistant coach Dejan Milojevic, according to head coach Steve Kerr.

“Tonight was just about the emotion and just trying to get through it,” Kerr said. “I probably shouldn’t tell you this, but all of the coaches took a shot of something called Rakia before the game, which is a Serbian brandy. So, we all took a shot of that in Deki’s honor, and we won, so we might have to keep doing that before every game.”

Milojevic tragically passed away from a heart attack last week. He was 46 years old at the time of his passing.

The NBA decided to postpone Golden State’s games against the Utah Jazz and Dallas Mavericks in the wake of Milojevic’s death.

In their first game in over a week, the Warriors earned a 22-point home victory over the Hawks. Stephen Curry and Jonathan Kuminga led the team in scoring with 25 points each. The former also chipped in eight assists and three rebounds, while the latter contributed nine rebounds and two assists.

With the win, the Warriors snapped their two-game losing streak. The team lost to the Memphis Grizzlies by nine points on Jan. 15 and Milwaukee Bucks by 11 points on Jan. 13.

The Warriors are outside of the Western Conference playoff picture right now after making the playoffs a season ago.

The team currently sits as the No. 12 seed in the conference at 19-22 and is one game behind the Jazz for the No. 10 seed. The Jazz are riding a three-game losing streak but still have been one of the hottest teams in the NBA over the last month.

Golden State’s next game on its regular-season schedule is a matchup against the Sacramento Kings on Thursday in what is a rematch of the first round of the 2023 playoffs. The Warriors beat the Kings in seven games behind a historic scoring performance from Curry in Game 7.

After taking on the Kings, the Warriors will play another playoff opponent of theirs from a season ago in the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers eliminated the Warriors in six games in the second round of the playoffs but have been inconsistent so far this season, as evidenced by their 22-23 record, which has the team as the No. 9 seed in the Western Conference.

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Jesse is an aspiring sports journalist that has previously worked as a staff writer at SB Nation’s CelticsBlog and The Knicks Wall.