Richard Jefferson talking about the Golden State Warriors on ESPN Photo credit: ESPN

Richard Jefferson stands by the point he made on ESPN about the Golden State Warriors dealing with the loss of their assistant coach, but he could have worded it better.

Last month, Warriors assistant coach Dejan Milojević died after the 46-year-old suffered a heart attack at a team dinner. On Monday, Milojević was buried in Serbia where hundreds attended the funeral including Warriors head coach Steve Kerr and other members of the franchise. With the Warriors back on the court Wednesday night against the Los Angeles Clippers, former NBA player and current ESPN analyst Richard Jefferson attempted to describe the impact Milojević had on the team, but fumbled his words while doing so.

“He meant so much to this organization,” Jefferson said. “These are things that obviously could be devastating to a group and it was, but also on the flip side of it, it could be something that brings this group together. Something that they might have needed in that moment.”

Everything came across as sensitive and genuine until Jefferson said Milojević’s death might have been something that the Warriors “needed.” We get what Jefferson was attempting to say. You always hope to see a family, team, community or country unite in the wake of tragedy. But the word “needed” stood out.

After receiving backlash for the comment on social media, Jefferson attempted to clarify his statement, admitting he may have used the wrong words, but did not offer an apology.

The point of needing to come together after the death of their coach is a fair one. As is the point that the Warriors were able to use a tragic moment as a reason to rally around each other. But to say that the death of an assistant coach might have been what they “needed” was a very awkward choice of words.


About Brandon Contes

Brandon Contes is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously helped carve the sports vertical for Mediaite and spent more than three years with Barrett Sports Media. Send tips/comments/complaints to