Suns fire head coach Igor Kokoskov after one season
The Phoenix Suns will soon hire a seventh head coach in eight years, as they fired Igor Kokoskov on Monday night after one season on the job.
"After extensive evaluation, I determined it is best to move in a different direction with our head coaching position," Suns general manager James Jones said in a statement. "I want to thank Igor for his work this past season and wish him the best with his future endeavors."
Coming off a season in which they finished with the worst record in the Western Conference, 19-63, the Suns are targeting Philadelphia 76ers assistant coach Monty Williams to take over for Kokoskov, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported.
Kokoskov, a 47-year-old native of Serbia, made history last fall when he became the first person born and raised outside of North America to serve as an NBA head coach. He previously was an NBA assistant coach with the Los Angeles Clippers (2000-03), Detroit Pistons (2003-08), Suns (2008-13), Cleveland Cavaliers (2013-14), Orlando Magic (2015) and Utah Jazz (2015-18).
He was the latest in a rapidly changing line of Suns coaches that included Alvin Gentry (2009-13), Lindsey Hunter (2013), Jeff Hornacek (2013-16), Earl Watson (2016-17) and Jay Triano (2017-18).
Williams, 47, was the New Orleans Pelicans' head coach from 2010-15, compiling a 173-221 record. In five seasons, his teams reached the postseason twice, losing in the first round each time.
Williams served as an assistant coach for the Portland Trail Blazers (2005-10) and Oklahoma City Thunder (2015-16) before taking a job with the 76ers under head coach Brett Brown last June.
According to multiple media outlets, Williams and Tyronn Lue are both due for second interviews with the Los Angeles Lakers, who are looking to replace Luke Walton as head coach. Lue, 41, coached the Cleveland Cavaliers to the NBA championship in 2015-16.