Igor Kokoskov Rumors
Still, Caleb Canales’ decision to leave the NBA and coach in Mexico is not without risk. Broadening his experience on an international stage could help him get back to the league and to the job of his dreams, but his leap of faith could also be ignored. Despite a growing stable of foreign-born superstars and the NBA’s expansion to new markets overseas, the league has been slow to embrace coaches with international experience. European champions like David Blatt and Igor Kokoskov came and went last decade, as did successful foreign-born assistants like Etore Messina. “The coaching side, you always have to be ready to adapt and adjust,” Canales says.
Marc Stein: 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. Nash had pursued Kokoskov when he first got the job after their time together in Phoenix.
Marc Stein: Brooklyn is revamping its coaching staff in the wake of its first-round sweep by Boston. Kokoskov, of course, has been a head coach in the NBA (Phoenix), EuroLeague (Fenerbahce) and internationally (teaming with Luka Doncic and Goran Dragic to win EuroBasket gold with Slovenia).
Sergio Scariolo decided to address the rumors circling around, since his team secured a spot in Euroleague, that he won’t be able to lead both Segafredo Virtus Bologna and Spain simultaneously, especially during the national team windows. However, the coach clearly stated that his contract with Virtus allows him to coach Spain and he will be continuing on both benches. “I don’t know where certain gossip comes from, and I don’t usually comment on gossip but anyway, and even for once, it’s worth clarifying that: My contract with Virtus explicitly provides in writing that I can participate in the windows of the national team. And my contract with the Spanish Basketball Federation does not foresee any type of exit and that contract extends until the end of the 2024 Olympic Games,” Scariolo said and took Igor Kokoskov as an example of how doable it actually is if all sides commit.
Sergio Scariolo: But still, that amount of time that went when Igor started and got the Suns job makes you understand how difficult it is. How the NBA teams executives, players, or whatever you want to call need a lot of time to feel confident to give that kind of responsibility to the head coach. On the other hand, I think that there are more opportunities for American coaches to be hired from European teams as head coaches. Way more than vice versa. It’s true that most of the time, it didn’t work. In this case, it has been because of a lack of flexibility and ability to adjust, understand, and respect different basketball.
Since the middle of January, Luka really has been on a statistical tear. What do you think has been the most important factor in his improvement? Kokoskov: One thing that’s really impressive: the way he’s managing the game. I mean, numbers are obvious. Everyone can see his numbers. There’s a lot of [other] things you can’t put into stats. That’s understanding the time, score, who’s hot, who’s playing well, when the team needs him to score, when the team needs him to distribute and facilitate for other guys. That’s amazing.