Tragedy struck the Golden State Warriors last week, after beloved assistant coach Dejan Milojević died at the age of 46, following a heart attack at the team’s dinner in Salt Lake City on Tuesday night.
In the wake of Milojević’s death, the NBA postponed the team’s Wednesday game against the Utah Jazz and their Friday game against the Dallas Mavericks, before a well-time quirk in the schedule gave the team four additional off days.
The team has, understandably, been using that time to mourn, grieve, and process the loss of their friend, coworker, teammate, and family member. And to help them do that, the team has made counseling available to their whole organization.
On Monday, Golden State held their first media availability since Milojević’s passing, and head coach Steve Kerr mentioned the team’s use of counseling as they process both he loss of Milojević and the trauma that many of them endured.
“We are making counseling available to everyone in the organization, and in particular those who were at the restaurant,” Kerr told reporters. “And that’s something that will be crucial moving forward. Everyone processes grief a different way, and we have to attend to everybody’s needs, and we will do so.”
This is an important move by the Warriors, and hopefully one that many players, coaches, and organization members utilize. The mourning and processing of Milojević’s death will not magically end when the team takes the court again on Wednesday night to host the Atlanta Hawks; it will be an ongoing process. Good on the Warriors for giving their employees the tools they need during this difficult time.