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Looney honors ‘brother' Milojević with heartfelt Instagram post

Looney honors ‘brother' Milojević with heartfelt Instagram post originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

The NBA world continues to mourn the sudden and tragic death of Warriors assistant coach Dejan Milojević, who passed away Wednesday after suffering a heart attack at a private team dinner in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Tuesday.

Players and coaches around the league shared social media posts honoring Milojević, and several teams held moments of silence before their respective games as a tribute to the late coach. But on Friday night, one of the players perhaps impacted by the passing the most broke his silence.

Warriors center Kevon Looney shared a five-photo post to his Instagram page Friday night accompanied by a heartfelt message to commemorate Milojević, a coach and "brother" he worked closely with in recent years.

https://www.instagram.com/p/C2TYv9wJbtB

Milojević was in his third season as an assistant coach with the Warriors after a well-decorated 14-year international playing career, including stints in Serbia, Spain and Turkey.

After his retirement, Milojević became the head coach of Serbian team Mega Vizura. Nearly one decade later, Golden State hired him as an assistant coach where he initially was assigned to work closely with former No. 2 pick and 7-foot center James Wiseman.

But when injuries derailed the start of Wiseman's NBA career, Milojević shifted his focus to Looney, particularly helping the Warriors' big man improve his rebounding. Yes, Milojević is the person to credit for turning Looney into a rebounding machine.

In the first six seasons of his NBA career, Looney averaged 4.0 rebounds (1.6 offensive, 2.4 defensive) in 15 minutes per game. In the 2021-22 season, the same year Milojević joined the coaching staff, Looney averaged 7.3 rebounds in 82 regular-season games and 7.6 boards per game in Golden State's run to its fourth championship in eight seasons.

Last season, Looney averaged career-highs nearly across the board with seven points on 63 percent shooting, 9.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists.

While Milojević helped Looney's impact on the court, it's clear their bond was even stronger off it. And for that, Looney -- and Dub Nation -- is forever grateful.

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