Suns Sign Three Assistant Coaches
The Phoenix Suns have signed assistant coaches Dan Majerle, Bill Cartwright and Igor Kokoskov to contracts through the 2011-12 season, the club announced today.
“I could not be happier to keep Dan, Bill and Igor on our staff,” said Suns Head Coach Alvin Gentry. “Finalizing their return was just a matter of time. Our success this season was a product of how well our team worked together and how badly our guys wanted to win, and that included our entire coaching staff.”
Majerle, Cartwright and Kokoskov originally joined the Suns’ coaching staff on June 20, 2008, and have served on the club’s bench each of the last two seasons. The trio has served on the staff of head coach Alvin Gentry for his entire 113-game tenure.
The 44-year-old Majerle was a three-time NBA All-Star (1992, 1993, 1995), all with the Suns, during his 14-year career with Phoenix, Cleveland and Miami. Nicknamed “Thunder,” Majerle became a permanent fan favorite while playing eight seasons with the Suns (1988-95, 2001-02) and was given the club’s highest honor, induction into the Ring of Honor, on March 9, 2003. Majerle retired as the Suns’ all-time leader in three-point field goals made, a record now held by Steve Nash, and ranks 18th in that category in NBA history overall (1360).
Majerle served as the head coach of the Suns’ Las Vegas Summer League squads in 2008 and 2009, and will do so again in 2010. Before joining the Phoenix coaching staff, Majerle spent the previous four seasons as a television analyst for Suns’ broadcasts and also worked in that capacity for TNT, ESPN and ABC.
A five-time NBA champion as a player and coach, Cartwright owns a wealth of coaching experience established over 12 seasons as an NBA assistant coach and parts of three seasons as head coach of the Chicago Bulls (151 games). Cartwright served six seasons in the Bulls organization under Phil Jackson (1996-98) and Tim Floyd (1998-2001) and was on the staff of Chicago’s 1997 and 1998 championship squads. Cartwright then spent four seasons on the bench of the New Jersey’s Nets before joining the Suns in the summer of 2008.
The third overall pick of the 1979 NBA Draft by the New York Knicks, Cartwright spent his first eight seasons in the Big Apple before a 1988 trade sent him to Chicago and help propel the Bulls to their first three championships. He was a 1980 NBA All-Star and a 1979 selection to the NBA All-Rookie Team.
Kokoskov (ko-KOSH-kov) just completed his 10th season as an assistant coach in the NBA after entering the league in 2000 as a member of Gentry’s staff with the Los Angeles Clippers. The 38-year-old was the first full-time, non-American assistant coach in NBA history, and just one week ago on June 18 Kokoskov became an American citizen in a ceremony at US Airways Center.
The native of Belgrade, Yugoslavia, has served as the head coach of the Serbia and Montenegro national team, and most recently served in the same capacity for the Republic of Georgia. Kokoskov was an assistant coach for the Suns’ Las Vegas Summer League entries in both 2008 and 2009.