Suns Complete Coaching Staff
Posted June 20, 2008
PHOENIX - The Phoenix Suns today announced that Alvin Gentry, Bill Cartwright, Dan Majerle and Igor Kokoskov will join head coach Terry Porter’s staff as assistant coaches.
“We’re thrilled to have been able to put together an extremely bright and versatile staff,” said Suns President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Steve Kerr. “Alvin and Bill provide great knowledge and experience for Terry with both having been head coaches in the NBA.
Igor has worked with Terry on the Pistons’ staff the last two years and brings a wealth of experience both on the NBA and international levels. Dan’s passion and work ethic will make a huge impact with our players. We’re excited to add to our staff one of the most tenacious players in franchise history.”
“In putting together this staff, I wanted to surround myself with coaches with bench experience, guys who are knowledgeable about both ends of the basketball court and are strong teachers of the game,” Porter said. “The coaches we selected are guys who have worked or played together and who I have competed with or against, so I’m confident we will have a great rapport from the very beginning.
"Steve and I wanted to put together a staff that is accustomed to winning. This is a championship-caliber organization and this staff has experience at competing for and winning championships.” Including Porter, the Suns’ new coaching staff has a combined 24 Conference Finals appearances as players and coaches, 10 NBA Finals berths and six NBA titles.
A 29-year coaching veteran, including 20 seasons in the NBA, Gentry will return for his fifth season on the Suns’ bench after originally joining the staff on June 1, 2004. Included in his NBA experience are three stints as a head coach with Miami (1995), Detroit (1997-2000) and the Los Angeles Clippers (2000-03).
Gentry, 53, served nine seasons as an assistant coach under respected coaches Larry Brown, Kevin Loughery and Doug Collins, who have combined for over 1,800 NBA victories. During Gentry’s tenure as an assistant in Phoenix, the Suns have compiled a record of 232-96 (.707).
A five-time NBA Champion as a player and coach, Cartwright joins the Suns’ coaching staff after spending the last four seasons as an assistant with the New Jersey Nets. Cartwright’s wealth of knowledge and experience stems from 15 seasons in the NBA as a player, 10 as an assistant and parts of three seasons as head coach of the Chicago Bulls (151 games).
Cartwright, 50, was a teammate of Kerr with the Bulls in 1993-94 and was an assistant coach in Chicago from 1996-98 while Kerr was a reserve. In total, he served six seasons as an assistant in the Bulls organization under Phil Jackson (1996-98) and Tim Floyd (1998-2001).
Under Jackson, Cartwright was on the staff of both the 1997 and 1998 NBA Champion clubs. While with Floyd, the former 7-1 center was responsible for the development of power forwards and centers, including 2000 NBA Rookie of the Year Elton Brand.
Suns legend and Ring of Honor inductee Majerle enters the coaching ranks for the first time in his career. Originally selected with the 14th overall pick by the Suns in the 1988 NBA Draft, Majerle quickly became a fan favorite while playing eight seasons in Phoenix (1988-95, 2001-02).
The 6-6 swingman, who was a member of the Suns’ 1993 Western Conference Championship squad, played one season in Cleveland and five in Miami following his departure from Phoenix, including the 1998-99 season with the Heat alongside Porter. “Thunder Dan”, 42, was a three-time All-Star (1992, 1993, 1995) who became the first reserve in NBA history to be voted an All-Star starter in 1995. The 14-year NBA veteran, who retired as the Suns’ all-time leading three-point shooter with 800 makes, has spent the last four seasons as an analyst on Suns television broadcasts.
Kokoskov (kuh-KOS-kov), 36, joins the Suns’ coaching staff after spending the last five seasons with the Detroit Pistons, including the last two with Porter, where Detroit reached the conference finals in each of those campaigns. Prior to joining the Pistons, Kokoskov served as an assistant with the Los Angeles Clippers under then-head coach Alvin Gentry, becoming the first full-time, non-American assistant coach in NBA history.
Kokoskov returned to his native Serbia and Montenegro to serve as the head coach of the Serbia and Montenegro national team at the 2004 Athens Olympics and the 2005 European Championships.
The Phoenix Suns own the fourth-highest winning percentage among NBA franchises all-time (.558, 1814-1434) and in 2007-08 became the fourth-fastest club to reach 1,800 victories in league history. One of the NBA’s most consistent franchises, the Suns have earned a playoff berth in 18 of the last 20 seasons, have claimed six division titles and are two-time Western Conference Champions.