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Former Suns players Nash, Dragic, Gortat approve of Kokoskov hiring

Phoenix Suns coach Alvin Gentry, second from right, along with his assistant coaches Dan Marjerle, right, Bill Cartwright, third from right, and Igor Kokoskov, fourth from right, and players watch as the Orlando Magic take a commanding lead in the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game Sunday, March 13, 2011, in Phoenix. The Magic won 111-88. (AP Photo/Paul Connors)

The Phoenix Suns hired Utah Jazz assistant Igor Kokoskov as their new head coach on Wednesday and it’s a move former Suns players approve of.

Kokoskov spent 2008-13 as an assistant coach under Alvin Gentry, specializing in player development.

Most notably, Kokoskov worked with Goran Dragic, who he also coached with the Slovenian national team.

“Goran came a long way when he was [in Phoenix] and Igor had a lot to do with that and his development,” Gentry said on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Burns & Gambo in late April.

Kokoskov is one of the most well-respected NBA assistants and has been in the NBA as an assistant since 2000.

His relationship with former players made it no surprise to see the support he received on social media.

Current Suns forward Jared Dudley is the lone player on the roster who was on those teams while Kokoskov was in Phoenix and he feels strongly about the hire as well.

The loss of Kokoskov will hurt in Utah, where he played a crucial role in player development and other key areas under head coach Quin Snyder.

Snyder gave his thoughts on the move after the team’s playoff win Wednesday night over the Houston Rockets.


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