The Phoenix Suns name a new coach.

Honolulu Star-Advertiser - - SPORTS -

PHOENIX >> The Phoenix Suns have hired Utah Jazz as­sis­tant Igor Kokoskov as their new head coach.

The 46-year-old Ser­bian be­comes the first NBA head coach born and raised out­side North Amer­ica. He served as a Suns as­sis­tant from 2008 to 2013, a stretch that in­cluded Phoenix’s 2010 run to the Western Con­fer­ence fi­nals. Kokoskov agreed to terms with the Suns af­ter the team con­ducted a long se­ries of ini­tial in­ter­views fol­lowed by sec­ond in­ter­views with what gen­eral man­ager Ryan McDonough termed “a hand­ful” of fi­nal­ists.

Kokoskov in­her­its an ex­ceed­ingly young team that com­piled a 21-61 record, worst in the NBA and sec­ond-worst in fran­chise his­tory.

He suc­ceeds in­terim coach Jay Tri­ano, who took over af­ter Earl Wat­son was fired three games into the sea­son.

In a state­ment an­nounc­ing the hir­ing, McDonough said Kokoskov “has been a pi­o­neer through­out his bas­ket­ball ca­reer and he brings a wealth of high-level coach­ing ex­pe­ri­ence to our club.”

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