As Jason Kidd continues to round out his staff as the new head coach of the Mavericks, one intriguing name emerged as a candidate as assistant coach: Igor Kokoskov. Kokoskov most notably was the former head coach of the Slovenian national team that won the 2017 Eurobasket gold medal. That team featured Goran Dragic and a future NBA player in Luka Doncic. Kokoskov then held the title of head coach of the Suns, leading them to a 19-63 record and was dismissed after one year.
Kokoskov’s resume as an assistant coach includes stops on the Pistons (on the 2004 title winning team), Clippers, Suns, Cavaliers and Magic from 2000-2018. After he was let go by the Suns as head coach, he returned to the assistant role with the Sacramento Kings under Luke Walton before being hired as the head coach of Fenerbahçe, a Turkish league team. Sportando reports Igor Kokoskov have officially parted ways and will return to the NBA to join the Dallas Mavericks as an assistant coach.
Igor Kokoskov, Fenerbahce part ways https://t.co/vODugMmpmk— Sportando (@Sportando) July 27, 2021
Igor coached Fenerbahce for only one season and will leave Turkey today.
ÖZEL | Dallas Mavericks ile anlaşan Igor Kokoskov bugün saat 14.15'de ABD'ye uçuyor.— Yağız Sabuncuoğlu (@yagosabuncuoglu) July 27, 2021
Jason Kidd has repeatedly opened up about what he learned under Frank Vogel during his tenure as an assistant coach with the Lakers, and one key lesson he mentioned was having a staff of coaches that are extremely smart and knowledgeable. Kokoskov has a proven track record of being a fantastic X’s and O’s coach. This hire pushes Kidd to focus on managing player relationships and development while leaving more of the schematic part of the job to his assistant.
The hiring of Kokoskov continues a trend in the NBA of former head coaches becoming somewhat overqualified assistants. Mike D’Antoni of the Nets, Mike Brown of the Warriors and Kenny Atkinson of the Clippers are all former head coaches who have found new successes as assistant coaches. The hope for Mavericks fans is that Kidd really has learned from his past failures as a head coach and is putting together a staff that he can not only trust and rely on but also can assist him in scheming and play calling.