The Phoenix Suns will be starting next season with a familiar face as their new head coach. The franchise announced the recent hire of Igor Kokoškov via a press release. Kokoškov is currently an assistant coach with the Jazz and has 18th seasons of experience overall as an NBA assistant coach. The Belgrade, Serbia native became a U.S. citizen in a special ceremony on the Suns’ court at Talking Stick Resort Arena backing 2010 while serving as an assistant coach in Phoenix.
General Manager Ryan McDonough said, “We are thrilled to bring Valley resident Igor Kokoškov back to Arizona as head coach of the Phoenix Suns. Igor has been a pioneer throughout his basketball career and he brings a wealth of high level coaching experience to our club. He was one of the first non-American born assistant coaches at both the NCAA and NBA levels and his most recent head coaching stint includes leading the Slovenian national team to the 2017 EuroBasket title, which was the first European title in the history of the country. Igor’s teams have always had a player development focus, a creative style of play and a track record of success.”
The Suns ended their 2018 season with the worst record in the league (21-61). Kokoškov will be joining the team upon completing his coaching duties with the Jazz. Kokoškov has been on the coaching staff of seven teams to reach the Conference Finals, two teams to reach the NBA Finals and won an NBA title as an assistant coach with the Pistons in 2004, becoming the first non-American assistant to be an NBA Champion.