Sports

Report: Recently fired NBA head coach finds a new home as an assistant with the Kings

Igor Kokoskov became the first Europe-born head coach in the NBA when he was hired by the Phoenix Suns. Fired after one season, the Sacramento Kings hired Kokoskov as an assistant on Luke Walton's staff.
Igor Kokoskov became the first Europe-born head coach in the NBA when he was hired by the Phoenix Suns. Fired after one season, the Sacramento Kings hired Kokoskov as an assistant on Luke Walton's staff. AP

The Kings have hired former Phoenix Suns head coach Igor Kokoskov to serve as an assistant on Luke Walton’s coaching staff in Sacramento.

The Kings hired Kokoskov on Thursday, a league source told The Sacramento Bee, speaking on condition of anonymity because the hiring had not been formally announced. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski first reported the hiring.

Kokoskov, 47, is a Serbian with extensive international coaching experience. He spent 18 years as an NBA assistant before he was named head coach in Phoenix last spring, making him the first Europe-born head coach in the NBA. Kokoskov compiled a 19-63 record in his only season with Phoenix. He was fired April 22 and replaced by former Philadelphia 76ers head coach Monty Williams.

Kokoskov previously spent time as an assistant with the Los Angeles Clippers, Detroit Pistons, Suns, Cleveland Cavaliers, Orlando Magic and Utah Jazz. He worked under head coaches such as Alvin Gentry, Larry Brown and Quinn Snyder.

Kokoskov will likely serve as a lead assistant under Walton, who was hired in April after three seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Kings previously announced they had hired Bob Beyer, Jesse Mermuys and Roy Rana to join Walton’s staff and retained Bobby Jackson in player development.

Beyer, 57, is a well-traveled assistant who first worked in the NBA in 2003. He spent one season with the Toronto Raptors, five with the Magic, one with the Golden State Warriors, one with the Charlotte Bobcats, four with the Pistons and one with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Mermuys, 38, served as an assistant on Walton’s staff with the Lakers and previously worked in various roles with the Denver Nuggets, Houston Rockets and Raptors.

Rana, 50, has served as head coach at Ryerson University in Toronto since 2009. He also serves as head coach of the under-18 and under-19 Canadian national teams.

Jackson, 46, is a fan favorite in Sacramento who spent six of his 13 NBA seasons with the Kings. He worked as an assistant coach with the Kings from 2011-13 and returned last season in a player development role under former coach Dave Joerger.

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