Igor Kokoskov Reportedly Fired by Suns After 1 Season with Phoenix

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistApril 23, 2019

Phoenix Suns coach Igor Kokoskov reacts to a foul called against the team during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Sacramento Kings on Saturday, March 23, 2019, in Sacramento, Calif. The Kings won 112-103. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
Rich Pedroncelli/Associated Press

The Phoenix Suns have reportedly fired head coach Igor Kokoskov after just one season.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported the news on Monday. He also provided context on the timing of the firing:

The Suns went 19-63 in 2018-19, which was tied for the second-worst record in the NBA. Phoenix hired Kokoskov after he spent more than a decade as an NBA assistant, most recently with the Utah Jazz from 2015-18. He is the first European-born head coach in league history.

While few expected the Suns to be a championship contender, they did not make any noticeable improvement from last season. They finished last in the West for the third straight year, 14 games behind any other team in the conference.

Phoenix made some improvements on both sides of the ball after the All-Star break, but they weren't enough to save Kokoskov's job. 

"We're committed to Igor, and we're committed to finishing the season out on a high note," interim general manager James Jones said on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. "We have room for improvement. That's the challenge across the organization for us to improve upstairs as well as downstairs, on the court, off the court. So we're going to push it. But Igor, it's a tough job but he's up to the challenge."

Kokoskov's support within the organization dwindled when general manager Ryan McDonough was fired. McDonough hired Kokoskov in one of his last major moves with the franchise.

Jones, who was the interim general manager in 2018-19, will be taking over the full-time duties going forward. It's likely he wants to set the tone for the organization by making his own hire. 

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