Phoenix Suns coach Igor Kokoskov plans to use a “San Antonio Spurs” model to fill out his coaching staff.
With the San Antonio Spurs’ year-to-year success comes other organizations’ desire to emulate their style. That has usually resulted in assistant coaches being plucked from Gregg Popovich’s tree to fill head coach roles on other teams. James Borrego recently became the latest case of this.
Well, there’s another team that wants to translate San Antonio’s success into their own. According to AZCentral.com, the new Phoenix Suns head coach, Igor Kokoskov, wants to use the Spurs’ coaching model to fill out his staff.
How will this happen? Kokoskov said the assistants at the front of his bench will scout opponents and play a part in player development.
“Nobody is going to be excluded from that part,” Kokoskov said. “We are a young team and we should never lose that. We don’t believe in numbers, if you’re a second or third assistant. You’re going to coach the team and make everybody comfortable.”
It’s of course the results that matter for someone to use a Spurs tactic, even though plenty have found success. Steve Kerr, who played for Popovich in two stints, has made three consecutive NBA Finals and won two championships; Mike Brown found success with the Cleveland Cavaliers; Mike Budenholzer led an overachieving Atlanta Hawks team to first place in 2014-15. Vinny Del Nego and Avery Johnson found success, but were both relieved of their duties at two stops. Jacque Vaughn did not fare well in his only coaching stint, however.
The difference though? Kokoskov did not coach under Popovich in the NBA. So can he succeed in this Spurs-like style, even if it’s only for filling out his staff?
Kokoskov isn’t the first and won’t be the last person to try to emulate the Spurs. Let’s see if it pays off.