While Dragic’s confidence wavered, Nash, Grant Hill and assistant coaches kept him afloat as he doubted his decision to come to the U.S. “[Kokoskov] was my second father. When I came to the States, he speaks the same language as I do. He was there for me 24/7,” Dragic said. “I owe them a lot that I even succeed in the NBA because of him and Dan Majerle and those guys. “Igor was the main guy. He always talked to me. He always opened my eyes and my head. I always remember him saying, ‘Just put hard work in and be patient.’ He was always saying patience. At that time, I didn’t understand that well and now I really do, I really do. Even now I don’t see him as a coach. I see him as my friend.”
David Morrow: Goran Dragic will replace Kevin Love in the All-Star Game. This is the first All-Star selection of the 31-year-old guard’s career and the first-ever selection of a Slovenian player.
Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic has confirmed he is retiring from the Slovenia team that won the European basketball championship. Dragic says on Tuesday, “I achieved what I wanted, the gold medal, and this is the right time to bid farewell.”
You have been part of the NBA for 17 years, you are the first European coach to achieve many milestones in your career in the States. However, this tournament with Slovenia can be called your biggest success? Igor Kokoskov: “I think so because it’s different when you are part of a team, part of the stuff and it’s different when you are coaching your own team. And that was one of the reasons that I took the job to coach in FIBA basketball. To have the opportunity to coach my own team, to make my own mistakes and to grow as a coach. In 2007 I got an invitation from Georgian basketball federation and they offered me a job. I wasn’t sure that it was a good idea, I didn’t know if I should do that or wait. I was also working as an assistant coach in the Serbian national team and Joe Dumars, the Pistons coach at the time, told me that if you want to grow as a coach, if you want to get better, you have to coach your own team. At that time I was also single, I didn’t have a family and using the summers to work was an available choice and a wise decision for me.