By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
Despite being one of the worst NBA teams in the past few seasons, the Phoenix Suns are hoping that their latest hire will help change that. The team hired Igor Kokoškov to be their next head coach.
He replaces both Earl Watson and Jay Triano. Watson was fired in November before Triano coached the rest of the season.
Triano was one of the initial interview candidates, before he was told earlier this week that he was no longer in the running for the job. Kokoškov will become the first European-born head coach when he is officially hired.
He cannot officially be named the Suns head coach until the end of the Utah Jazz season. He has been an assistant coach with the Jazz for the past three seasons.
Kokoškov will become the sixth Suns head coach since the 2012-13 season. Phoenix has not made the playoffs since the 2009-10 season, where they lost in the Conference Finals.
Since the 2009-10 season, they have only had two seasons where they won 40 or more games. They won 40 games in 2010-11, then won 48 games in 2013-14.
However, in the past three seasons, the team has not won more than 24 games. They won 24 games during the 2016-17 season.
This season; however, they won 21-61. It was their second-worst season in their career, as they went 16-66 during their inaugural 1968-69 season.
Kokoškov, 46-years-old, has been an NBA assistant coach since 2000. He has been an NBA assistant with the Los Angeles Clippers, Detroit Pistons, Suns, Cleveland Cavaliers, Orlando Magic, and the Jazz. He was an NBA Champion with the Pistons in 2004.
Besides coaching in the NBA, he was also an assistant coach OKK Beograd in Serbia and the Serbian National Team. He was the Georgia National Team head coach and also was the Slovenia National Team head coach.
He guided Slovenia to the Gold Medal in the EuroBasket in 2017.
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