Kokoskov Firing is Another Irrational Decision


The only thing worse than Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver’s decision-making is his timing. On Monday night, he stayed true to form by firing Suns coach Igor Kokoskov when nobody was expecting it. It’s hard to defend the coach of a 19-63 team, but it still feels unfair to fire Kokoskov after only one season. Plus, the reputation of the Suns front office and the trust in their judgement is at an all-time low right now. The default assumption seems to be that all decisions attached to them are bad decisions!

The buck stops with Sarver. However, this firing does seem like something the front-office wanted, given that the Suns recently hired Jeff Bower as Senior VP of Basketball Operations. Igor was obviously not his guy. The rumor is that Phoenix wants to make a run at Monty Williams, assistant coach of the Philadelphia 76ers. That would mean they will be competing with the Lakers for his services.

To Monty or not to Monty?

Both Bower and Suns GM James Jones have connections to Monty Williams, and they supposedly want him at the helm. Jones played for Monty when Monty was an assistant coach in Portland. Monty was later hired as a head coach in New Orleans when Bower was the GM and interim head coach.

That’s all well and good, but the apparent confidence raises a lot of questions. For one, the Suns’ front office better know what they are doing and have some back-door deal in place with Monty. Robert Sarver and the Phoenix Suns are already a Twitter meme, and if they lose out to the Lakers on this hire, they will become even more of a laughingstock.

Secondly, I am not completely sold on Monty. He had a mediocre run in New Orleans and is no slam-dunk of a hire. I like Monty as a person from what I have seen from a distance and his story is special. But none of that makes him a good coach for the Phoenix Suns. I was not very impressed with Igor either, but I am not convinced Monty is better.  With all that said, Monty deserves another shot at coaching.

Suns Need Some Stability

Most importantly, this level of instability cannot be good for a young team. Unfortunately, most Suns fans will probably agree with the assessment in the following thread on Twitter:

This is where the once-mighty Suns are tonight. They are pretty much a punching bag for NBA Twitter. Time to start fixing everything, starting with the culture in the building. Phoenix needs a coach who can create the best environment for Devin Booker and DeAndre Ayton. They need somebody who preaches defense and discipline on the court. There is a lot of player development work still to be done with Booker, let alone the other youngsters. In short, Bower and Jones have to nail this choice. Then they have to stick with it for at least a few years.



About Aravind Srinivasan

Aravind loves two things- the NBA and writing. He has been a long-time Phoenix Suns fans since the Charles Barkley-Kevin Johnson era of the mid-90’s. He now lives in the Golden State and follows the Warriors closely. An avid sports and NBA blogger since the early days of blogging, he is now a Suns and Dubs writer for TLSM. His favourite Sun is Steve Nash and his favourite Warrior is Steph Curry. Twitter: @15cent

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