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The 5: Current and former prominent Suns voices on hiring of Igor Kokoskov

Slovenia's coach Igor Kokoskov gives instructions to his players during their Eurobasket European Basketball Championship final match against Serbia, in Istanbul, Sunday, Sept. 17. 2017. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
LISTEN: Robert Sarver, Suns' Owner

The Phoenix Suns have their 19th head coach in franchise history with the hiring of Igor Kokoskov.

Kokoskov replaces interim coach Jay Triano, who filled in after Earl Watson was fired three games into this season.

The Utah Jazz assistant coach has links to the Valley, as he was an assistant for Alvin Gentry from 2008-13 in Phoenix.

For more on how Kokoskov fits with the Suns, here are five prominent former and current Suns voices on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station sharing their thoughts on the hire.

Suns owner Robert Sarver on Burns & Gambo

“The main boxes we were looking to check was one — someone who could really help jumpstart our player development program. As you know, we’ve got a young team. We’ve been assimilating some high draft picks. We’ll get another excellent player this year in the draft, and so someone who’s very focused on player development and has a proven track record of doing a good job there. That’s number one.”

Suns general manager Ryan McDonough on Doug & Wolf

“We think Igor is the perfect guy for our team and our situation. He’s a great tactician, he’s great at player development. He has an understated way about him that players really respect and like. He has a track record of winning and helping players get better wherever he goes.”

Suns vice president of basketball operations James Jones on Bickley & Marotta

“When you look at Igor’s experience, we have a young team, but we were really looking for a coach that was offensively progressive. Someone that has a varying degree of experience.

“For us, he seemed like the most complete candidate and that was, from the outset, that was our goal, to find a complete candidate.”

New Orleans Pelicans head coach and former Suns coach Alvin Gentry on Bickley & Marotta

“He’s somewhat of a quiet guy. He likes being behind the scenes from the standpoint of he’s not looking for any glory or anything like that. I just think his relationship with players, it was just a matter of time before somebody was going to see that and hire him. This is going to be one of the best hires they’ve ever made.

“I told (Suns owner Robert Sarver) I think this is a great hire for them and I think he’s going to be great.”

GCU head coach and former Suns player and assistant Dan Majerle on Doug & Wolf

“I just watched him work with Goran and other things and he was always pushing Goran positively and giving him things to work on and just always there. One of the things that you have to do with players is they have to know you care. And Igor cares, man. He doesn’t care about getting credit, he doesn’t care about anything. All he wanted to do is help these young guys get better, help the team get better, and players gravitate toward that, man.”


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