Jazz assistant Igor Kokoskov says he’s “thrilled” to be taking up because the Phoenix Suns’ subsequent head coach after Utah’s season concludes and “proud” to be the primary NBA head coach born and raised exterior North America.
In an announcement from Kokoskov issued from Utah’s official Twitter account Thursday night time, the 46-year-old Serbian mentioned he tremendously appreciates the “opportunity that [owner] Robert Sarver and [general manager] Ryan McDonough have given me.”
“I am certainly proud to be the first head coach in the NBA raised outside North America and just as excited to return to the Suns organization and Phoenix, my family’s home for the past 10 years,” mentioned Kokoskov, who served as a Suns assistant from 2008 to 2013, a stretch that included Phoenix’s 2010 run to the Western Convention finals.
“It’s a place where I was a part of tremendously talented and successful teams and I look forward to working towards a Championship,” he mentioned within the assertion.
Kokoskov agreed to terms on a three-year contract with the Suns, league sources instructed ESPN on Wednesday, after the crew carried out an extended series of preliminary interviews adopted by second interviews with what McDonough termed “a handful” of finalists. McDonough met with Kokoskov in Houston earlier than Sunday’s Sport 1 of Utah’s Western Convention semifinal series in opposition to Houston and moved shortly to make a proposal, league sources instructed ESPN.
Kokoskov succeeds interim coach Jay Triano, who took over after Earl Watson was fired three video games into the season.
Kokoskov is in his 18th season as an NBA assistant coach. As well as to the Jazz and Suns, he was an assistant at Orlando (2015), Cleveland (2013-14), Detroit (2003-08) and Los Angeles Clippers (2000-03).
He grew to become a U.S. citizen on June 18, 2010, in a ceremony on the court docket at Phoenix’s Speaking Stick Resort Area.
Data from The Related Press was used on this report.