June 16, 2024

Three-time Serbian Participant of the 12 months and present Atlanta Hawks guard Bogdan Bogdanović delivered a powerful efficiency off the bench throughout Wednesday night time’s win over the Orlando Magic. Bogdanovic performed 24 minutes and completed with 12 factors.

However Bogdanović was enjoying with a heavy coronary heart, saying his thoughts was on his good friend, Golden State Warriors assistant coach and fellow Serbian Dejan Milojević, who died after having a coronary heart assault on the age of 46.

Hawks star Dejounte Murray made a basket on the buzzer to raise the Hawks to an exciting 106-104 victory, however Bogdanović has nearly no reminiscence of the sport. 

“I don’t even know what I did tonight,” stated Bogdanović. “I keep in mind warmups. I don’t know what I used to be doing. I forgot a few my routines.”

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Bogdan Bogdanović, proper, hugs Dejounte Murray of the Atlanta Hawks on the conclusion of the Atlanta Hawks’ 106-104 victory over the Orlando Magic at State Farm Enviornment Jan. 17, 2024, in Atlanta. (Todd Kirkland/Getty Photos)

Bogdanović stood somberly alongside his teammates as a second of silence was noticed earlier than the sport.

Bogdanović recalled feeling like he was merely going via the motions at occasions in the course of the recreation. He struggled to grasp Milojević was gone.

 “Like everybody else in Serbia, we couldn’t imagine the information,” he stated. “As a result of that man was a beast. All the time optimistic.”

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The 31-year-old Bogdanović by no means received an opportunity to play for Milojević after he started his teaching profession, however they went in opposition to one another quite a few occasions as gamers. Their shared homeland gave them a pure bond.

Bogdanović particularly admired the best way Milojević carried himself away from the courtroom.

“It’s such a tragic factor to see how a lot affect he had on plenty of gamers, individuals all over the world,” Bogdanović stated. “One factor that I’ll by no means, always remember is he by no means chased his profession.”

Dejan Milojevic warms up

Golden State Warriors assistant coach Dejan Milojević earlier than a recreation in opposition to the LA Clippers at Chase Heart in San Francisco March 8, 2022. (Darren Yamashita/USA Right this moment Sports activities)

Milojević gained three consecutive MVP awards within the Adriatic League.

“He was a terrific participant, however he by no means chased his profession,” Bogdanović stated. “He at all times needed to stay a household way of life together with his children within the good cities. He by no means chased cash. I really feel that’s a terrific instance for everybody.

“He believed that if you happen to don’t like your life, there isn’t any approach you possibly can carry out in your job, you can’t maximize your job,” the Hawks guard added. “You can not maximize your potential if you happen to’re not blissful in your life as a result of typically individuals worth extra their jobs and another stuff.”

Bogdan Bogdanovic drives to the basket

Bogdan Bogdanović (13) of the Atlanta Hawks drives to the basket within the third quarter in opposition to the Orlando Magic at State Farm Enviornment Jan. 17, 2024, in Atlanta. (Todd Kirkland/Getty Photos)

Milojević was in his third season on the Warriors’ teaching employees. He beforehand coached in Serbia, the place he as soon as labored with Nikola Jokić earlier than the two-time NBA MVP got here to america, in addition to Montenegro.

Bogdanović briefly thought-about sitting out Atlanta’s recreation in opposition to the Magic to cope with his grief. However he determined to play after realizing taking the courtroom can be the extra becoming tribute to the person he tremendously admired.

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“I used to be fascinated about not exhibiting up tonight once I couldn’t sleep and I used to be out of my routine,” Bogdanović stated. “However then I used to be like, ‘He wouldn’t need me to do this.’”

The Related Press contributed to this report.

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