Former Suns GM Ryan McDonough: Kokoskov firing is ‘business as usual’

Apr 24, 2019, 1:59 PM
Phoenix Suns head coach Igor Kokoskov, right, speaks as general manager Ryan McDonough listens Mond...
Phoenix Suns head coach Igor Kokoskov, right, speaks as general manager Ryan McDonough listens Monday, May 14, 2018, in Phoenix. Kokoskov will oversee a vastly improved team after they compiled the worst record in the NBA last season. (AP Photo/Matt York)
(AP Photo/Matt York)

Over the past few days, the Phoenix Suns have been on the wrong end of criticism from members of the media, fans and former members of the organization.

On Tuesday, former Suns general manager Ryan McDonough expressed his thoughts on Sirius XM’s NBA Radio about the Suns’ recent decision to fire head coach Igor Kokoskov after just one season with the team.

“Business as usual for the Suns, unfortunately,” McDonough said. “Obviously, I’m probably a little biased with that opinion, but Igor Kokoskov’s a good coach and a good man.”

McDonough and current Suns GM James Jones hired Kokoskov following the conclusion of last season. McDonough was then fired nine days before the start of his sixth season in the role.

The former GM explained how he liked Kokoskov’s résumé with both the Georgia and Slovenia national teams. McDonough also complimented the coach on how successful he was at developing players while overseas.

“Now, if you get fired 11 months after you’re hired and you have a young team with young players, you probably didn’t have a great opportunity to develop those players and maximize them and their potential,” McDonough said.

This belief that McDonough has about Kokoskov not receiving enough time to develop the Suns young core is one that has been shared by other former members of the Suns organization.

Former Suns forward Charles Barkley let his opinion be heard during a segment on Inside the NBA on TNT Monday night.

“They fired the coach after one year. I don’t think it’s fair,” Barkley said. “They got a very young team. They had a bunch of injuries. I don’t know what kind of coach Igor was going to be, but I don’t think you should fire a coach after one year. I just don’t think that’s fair.”

Former Suns head coach Earl Watson and former player Matt Barnes also reacted on Twitter when they first heard the news:

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