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Igor Stefan Kokoškov (/kəˈkɒskɒv/ kə-KOS-kov;[1] Serbian Cyrillic: Игор Стефан Кокошков; born 17 December 1971) is a Serbian professional basketball coach who is currently an assistant coach for the Sacramento Kings of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He previously spent 18 years in the league as an assistant coach, with his most recent tenure there being with the Utah Jazz, before briefly being a head coach for the Phoenix Suns for a full season.

Igor Kokoškov
Igor Kokoškov 2017.jpg
Sacramento Kings
PositionAssistant coach
LeagueNBA
Personal information
Born (1971-12-17) 17 December 1971 (age 47)
Banatski Brestovac, SR Serbia, SFR Yugoslavia
NationalitySerbian / American
Listed height6 ft 4 in (1.94 m)
Career information
CollegeUniversity of Belgrade
Coaching career1992–present
Career history
As coach:
1992–1994OKK Beograd (youth)
1994–1995OKK Beograd (assistant)
1995–1996OKK Beograd
1996–1997Partizan (youth)
1999–2000Missouri (assistant)
20002003Los Angeles Clippers (assistant)
20032008Detroit Pistons (assistant)
2004–2005Serbia and Montenegro (assistant)
2008–2015Georgia
20082013Phoenix Suns (assistant)
2013–2014Cleveland Cavaliers (assistant)
2014–2015Orlando Magic (assistant)
20152018Utah Jazz (assistant)
2016–2017Slovenia
2018–2019Phoenix Suns
2019–presentSacramento Kings (assistant)
Career highlights and awards
As assistant coach

Kokoškov was the first European to be a full-time assistant coach in NCAA Division I college basketball, and the first non-American to hold such a position in the NBA.[2] In 2004, he became the first non-American assistant coach to win an NBA championship, and the first to serve on an NBA All-Star Game coaching staff.[3] He is also the first coach born and raised outside of North America to be hired as a head coach in the NBA.

He won EuroBasket 2017, while working as the head coach of the Slovenian men's national team.

Contents

Coaching careerEdit

Kokoškov, a graduate of the University of Belgrade, coached various club teams in Belgrade, and was on the coaching staff of the Yugoslav men's and junior national teams. At the age of 24, Kokoškov became the youngest coach in Yugoslavian basketball history, shortly after suffering serious injuries sustained during an automobile accident, which ended a promising basketball playing career.

His savvy, ambitious nature, and command of the English language were factors when he was hired by the University of Missouri's Tigers, as a part of their full-time coaching staff in 1999, making him the first European to hold such a position in NCAA Division I men's college basketball.[2]

NBA assistant (2000–2018)Edit

In 2000, Kokoškov became the first non-American to be hired as a full-time assistant coach in the NBA, by the Los Angeles Clippers, under head coach Alvin Gentry.[2] In 2003, he joined the Detroit Pistons staff of head coach Larry Brown. He won an NBA championship in 2004 with the Pistons. At the 2006 NBA All-Star Game he served on the Eastern Conference coaching staff.

On 20 June 2008, Kokoškov was named an assistant coach of the Phoenix Suns.[4] On 29 May 2013, Kokoškov was named as assistant coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers.[5] On 17 February 2015, Kokoškov was named as assistant coach for the Orlando Magic, until the end of the season.[2]

On 1 July 2015, Kokoškov was hired by the Utah Jazz to be an assistant coach.[3] On 5 December 2016, Kokoškov led Utah to a win over Los Angeles Lakers, 107–101.[6] Jazz head coach Quin Snyder had fallen ill and missed their game against the Lakers.[7] He would remain assistant coach for the Jazz until their run in the 2018 NBA Playoffs concluded, which ended on 8 May 2018 with a 112–102 loss to the Houston Rockets.[8]

Phoenix Suns (2018–2019)Edit

On 2 May 2018, Kokoškov was hired as the head coach of the Phoenix Suns, returning to the team he was previously with from 2008 to 2013. He became the first head coach born and raised outside of North America in NBA history,[8] and officially took on the role on 14 May.[9] In his official head coaching debut in the NBA on 17 October, Kokoškov led the Suns to a 121–100 victory over the Dallas Mavericks.[10] However, they finished the season with a 19–63 record, tied for the second-worst record in the league. On 22 April 2019, the Suns fired Kokoškov.[11]

Return to assistant coaching (2019–present)Edit

On 13 June 2019, Kokoškov was named an assistant coach for the Sacramento Kings under new head coach Luke Walton's coaching staff.[12]

National team coaching careerEdit

Serbia and Montenegro (2004–2005)Edit

Kokoškov was an assistant coach of the Serbia and Montenegro national team at the 2004 Summer Olympics and the 2005 EuroBasket, under renowned European head coach Željko Obradović.[2][4]

Georgia (2008–2015)Edit

On 18 April 2008, Kokoškov was named the head coach of the Georgia men's national basketball team. He coached Georgia at 2011 EuroBasket in Lithuania, 2013 EuroBasket in Slovenia and 2015 EuroBasket in Croatia/France. He left after EuroBasket 2015.

Slovenia (2016–2017)Edit

On 18 January 2016, the Basketball Federation of Slovenia named Kokoškov the new head coach of the Slovenian men's national team, for the next two years.[13] Former Serbian coach Božidar Maljković recommended him for this position to Slovenian Federation Secretary-General Rasho Nesterović.[14]

His contract with the Slovenia's national team ended after the EuroBasket 2017 where Slovenia won the gold medal.

Personal lifeEdit

In 1990, Kokoškov was part of a near fatal car crash which shattered his knee and ended his basketball career.[15]

Kokoškov and his wife, Patricia, were married in the summer of 2009. They have two children: a son and a daughter.[2] On 18 June 2010, Kokoškov became an American citizen.[16]

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili honored Kokoškov with an Order of Honour, the Georgia’s highest civilian honor, on 18 December 2011.[2][17]

Head coaching recordEdit

National teamsEdit

Year National Team Tournament Standing Pld W L
2009 Georgia EuroBasket Div. B 1st 10 9 1
2010 Georgia EuroBasket Qualification 2nd 8 5 3
2011 Georgia EuroBasket 11th 8 2 6
2012 Georgia EuroBasket Qualification 2nd 8 6 2
2013 Georgia EuroBasket 17th 5 1 4
2014 Georgia EuroBasket Qualification 1st 6 4 2
2015 Georgia EuroBasket 15th 6 2 4
2016 Slovenia EuroBasket Qualification 1st 6 6 0
2017 Slovenia EuroBasket   9 9 0
EuroBasket 5/5 34 20 14

NBAEdit

Legend
Regular season G Games coached W Games won L Games lost W–L % Win–loss %
Playoffs PG Playoff games PW Playoff wins PL Playoff losses PW–L % Playoff win–loss %
Team Year G W L W–L% Finish PG PW PL PW–L% Result
Phoenix 2018–19 82 19 63 .232 5th in Pacific Missed playoffs (fired)
Career 82 19 63 .232 0 0 0

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ http://www.nba.com/article/2018/05/02/phoenix-suns-hire-igor-kokoskov-official-release
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Magic Name Igor Kokoskov Assistant Coach
  3. ^ a b "Jazz Announce Basketball Staff Additions". NBA.com. 1 July 2015. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
  4. ^ a b Suns Complete Coaching Staff
  5. ^ Cleveland Cavaliers hire Phoenix assistant Igor Kokoskov
  6. ^ "Utah Jazz: With Snyder ill, Igor Kokoskov coaches Jazz to win over Lakers". The Salt Lake Tribune. 5 December 2016. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
  7. ^ "Jazz coach Quin Snyder misses game vs. Lakers". NBA.com. 5 December 2016. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
  8. ^ a b "Suns Agree to Terms with Igor Kokoškov To Become New Head Coach". NBA.com. 2 May 2018. Retrieved 2 May 2018.
  9. ^ "Igor Kokoskov takes aim at resurrecting Suns franchise". ESPN.com. 14 May 2018. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  10. ^ "Booker's late onslaught lifts Suns past Mavs 121-100". ESPN.com. 17 October 2018. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  11. ^ Wojnarowski, Adrian (22 April 2019). "Suns fire Kokoskov; Williams eyed, sources say". ESPN.com. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  12. ^ https://www.sacbee.com/sports/article231541468.html
  13. ^ "Moško člansko reprezentanco bo vodil Igor Kokoškov". kzs.si. 19 January 2016. Retrieved 19 January 2016.
  14. ^ "KAD MALJKOVIĆ PREPORUČI, ISTORIJA KOŠARKE SE MENJA "Uzmite Kokoškova i nećete pogrešiti"". sport.blic.rs (in Serbian). Retrieved 5 May 2018.
  15. ^ "Utah Jazz assistant Igor Kokoskov's journey to NBA began in a hospital". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved 2019-07-02.
  16. ^ Pollack, Seth (18 June 2010). "Coach Igor Kokoskov Becomes U.S. Citizen In Heartfelt, Slightly Goofy Ceremony". SB Nation Arizona. Retrieved 3 May 2018.
  17. ^ Video on YouTube

External linksEdit