Igor Kokoskov, who was a top assistant coach on Quin Snyder’s staff with the Utah Jazz from 2015 to 2018, is reportedly expected to leave his job as an assistant with the Dallas Mavericks to become an assistant with the Brooklyn Nets.
Substack’s Marc Stein reported the news on Saturday, noting that Nets head coach Steve Nash, who has been in that job since September of 2020, “had pursued Kokoskov when he first got the job after their time together in Phoenix (from 2008-2012 as Nash starred and Kokoskov was an assistant).”
The Nets are expected to hire Mavericks assistant coach Igor Kokoskov to serve as an assistant to Steve Nash on the Brooklyn bench, league sources say.— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) June 4, 2022
Nash had pursued Kokoskov when he first got the job after their time together in Phoenix.
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The move for the 50-year-old Kokoskov comes after the Mavericks made a surprise run to the Western Conference Finals.
Perhaps ironically, they beat the Jazz and Phoenix Suns to get there before falling to the Golden State Warriors.
Kokoskov will be leaving superstar Luka Doncic, whom he coached as head man of the Slovenian national team as it won the EuroBasket gold medal in 2017.
A year later when Kokoskov left the Jazz to become head coach of the Suns, they infamously bypassed selecting Doncic with the first overall pick despite Kokoskov’s familiarity with him and took Deandre Ayton instead.
Kokoskov will be joining a Nets team that finished seventh in the Eastern Conference during the regular season and then got swept in the first round of the playoffs by the Boston Celtics, who lead the Warriors 1-0 in the NBA Finals with Game 2 set for Sunday.
This will mark the ninth NBA team Kokoskov will have been an assistant with. Snyder hired him as an assistant at the University of Missouri in 1999, and Kokoskov became an assistant with the LA Clippers in 2000, marking the first time a non-American had ever been hired as a full-time NBA assistant.
He left LA for the Detroit Pistons in 2003 and won a championship with them in 2004. Next was his assistant stint with the Suns from 2008-2012.
Next were jobs with the Cleveland Cavaliers (2013-2015) and Orlando Magic (2015) before he was reunited with Snyder in Utah.
As the Jazz rose from a young upstart squad to a contender in the Western Conference, Kokoskov started getting mentioned as a potential head coaching candidate, and he was hired to rejoin the Suns in that role in 2018.
The 2018-19 season was kind of a disaster in Phoenix, however, and Kokoskov was fired. That made way for the Suns to hire Monty Williams, who won the 2022 NBA Coach of the Year award after a second consecutive great season.
Kokoskov joined the Sacramento Kings coaching staff after getting fired by Phoenix, and was there for a season before being named head coach of Turkish power Fenerbahce.
After a season in that role, Kokoskov was hired by the Mavericks last summer, which reunited him with Doncic.