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Rumor: Suns’ Igor Kokoskov firing did not stem from wins and losses

Igor Kokoskov, Suns

The recent firing of Phoenix Suns head coach Igor Kokoskov was a matter of more than wins and losses, according to Arizona Sports 98.7 radio host John Gambadoro.

While it’s true that the organization took a step back from the 2017-18 season in which it won an NBA-worst 21 games, Kokoskov inherited a much different roster than he thought he’d be getting when he was first hired by the franchise.

Kokoskov counted on having veterans like Trevor Ariza, Tyson Chandler, Jared Dudley and the newly acquired Ryan Anderson, but instead wound up with four rookies on his team, getting very little veteran influence besides Jamal Crawford.

According to Gambadoro, Suns played liked Kokoskov, but he never commanded the respect of the players, who instead looked up to assistant Joe Prunty for direction.

A lot of the disconnect took place even before the season started, as Kokoskov, a Ryan McDonough hire, no longer had his main cog with him, as he was fired with one week left before the start of the season.

The Suns’ hopes went to ruin from there, as Kokoskov was now at the mercy of interim general manager James Jones, who traded away those veterans (except for Dudley, who was dealt by McDonough) for other pieces, desperately hoping to find a capable point guard to put alongside star Devin Booker.

Phoenix will look for a coach who can develop young talent, already looking at Monty Williams and David Vanterpool as potential candidates of an extensive pool the organization will interview before making a decision.

The next hire will be the fifth coach of Devin Booker’s career at the ripe age of 22 and with only four years of NBA experience.