PHOENIX, AZ - APRIL 07: Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns reacts to fans after scoring against the Oklahoma City Thunder during the second half of the NBA game at Talking Stick Resort Arena on April 7, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns defeated the Thunder 120-99. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Two NBA teams hired their new head coaches today: the New York Knicks and the Phoenix Suns. The latter made history with its hire.
Phoenix tabbed Utah Jazz assistant coach Igor Kokoskov to be its next head coach. Kokoskov is well-respected and has been a longtime NBA apprentice.
A native of Serbia, Kokoskov is also the first European-born coach in NBA history. In fact, he’s the first head coach born outside of North America.
Kokoskov led the Slovenian national team to the EuroBasket tournament championship last summer, drawing critical acclaim in the process. One of the players on the squad was European phenom Luca Doncic, the potential No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft.
If the Suns are in position to draft Doncic, his ties to Kokoskov should make for a strong fit.
ESPN story on the Suns hiring Jazz assistant Igor Kokoskov, the first non North American-born coach in NBA history.https://t.co/4n1MdFrKNB
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn)May 2, 2018
The 46-year-old Kokoskov took his first American coaching job at Missouri in 1999. In 2000, he became an assistant with the Los Angeles Clippers, a position he held until 2003.
From 2003-2008, Kokoskov was on staff with the Detroit Pistons. He won a title with the organization in 2004.
In 2008, Kokoskov joined the Suns’ staff and stayed with Phoenix until 2013. He then stopped in Cleveland and Orlando before joining the Jazz in 2015.