The Phoenix Suns’ problems should not be blamed on Igor Kokoskov

Phoenix Suns Igor Kokoskov (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns Igor Kokoskov (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

The Phoenix Suns are 1-6 through their first seven games. The problem is not Igor Kokoskov.

It does not matter: if a team projected to be the worst team in the NBA or the best team in the league begins a season with a similar record to 1-6 as the Phoenix Suns have, myriad fingers will be pointed as to what the primary problem is and what should change to help turn the season around.

Almost instinctively, if there is no one obvious issue, fingers almost all generally point directly at the head coach.

In the case of the Suns’ slow start, those fingers have already begun pointing in Igor Kokoskov’s direction.

But I offer to you something that a teacher once told me: when you point blame at someone, always remember that three of your own fingers are pointing right back at you.

Go ahead, try it. I know you want to.

Granted, the team’s failing are not your fault. In fact, if anything, the franchise should be celebrating you  in a manner unlike ever before for still sticking it through with their incessant and depressing losing.

Phoenix Suns
Phoenix Suns /

Phoenix Suns

That finger of blame though should absolutely not be pointed at Igor Kokoskov.

Igor is one of, if not the  most accomplished coach prior to his hiring with Phoenix of any of the seven  head coached the Suns have employed since 2008.

He was an NBA Assistant Head Coach for 18  years  prior to his head coaching gig. He served under Alvin Gentry, Larry Brown, and Quinn Snyder. He has won an NBA Title as an Assistant. He has been called a “point guard whisperer.”

He was the Head Coach of the Georgia National Team for seven seasons and for the last two has been Head Coach of the Slovenian National Team which, as most Suns fans already know, won the EuroBasket title in 2017.

No Phoenix Suns head coach has been better  prepared to take the reins since Mike D’Antoni, back in 2004.

D’Antoni’s background was in many ways similar to Kokoskov’s too (although he had head coaching experience longer outside of the U.S., obviously Igor chose to work primarily in the NBA where he had to wait his turn) and they are the only two head coaches since Cotton Fitzsimmons with such extensive backgrounds before landing their jobs with the Suns.

Hel, Terry Porter, Lindsey Hunter, and Earl Watson combined  had almost zero real world preparation to take their jobs as head coach prior to being placed in the position.

Of course their combined records of 73-137 gives credence to that statement.

The problem that the Phoenix Suns have is not poor coaching, but a lack of experienced star talent. They are in desperate need of impact players who know how to win in the NBA and who can take control of games while the young players fizzle out.

The young players that the Suns have been building around too have had nothing but strife and turbulence to deal with since their arrivals.

Never forget: Igor Kokoskov is Devin Booker‘s fourth  head coach in as many years.

Dragan Bender has had three  difference head coaches in three years as has Josh Jackson in only two  years.

The unfortunate thing is that while Robert Sarver and Ryan McDonough were building a roster of young players, they neglected to find a competent head coach who knew how to coach up these college-player-should-be’s, one who could evolve his coaching as his players grew, providing them with consistency when they need such consistency the most.

Instead, the young Suns were thrust into a situation that has never been stable throughout their entire careers, having to change their understanding of offensive and defensive schemes and strategies multiple times.

The fact that Devin Booker has turned out as great as he is is in and of itself a basketball miracle!

That the remaining draftees now have a legitimate and experienced head coach, one who should  be allowed to grow with the franchise over the next few seasons as well, is finally a blessing to their growth as players in the NBA.

What’s more is that letting Igor coach without fear of an early firing gives the players the promise of more stability, the organization needs to – at some point very  soon – move away from the total youth movement anyway, settle on the players they want to build around, and go find that star veteran who can bring experience and leadership to the roster.

Next. I know what the Phoenix Suns' on court problem is. dark

Give Igor this kind of talent and he’ll make a winner out of them.

Continue to supplant the youth with more youth and he will continue to struggle to win.

The Phoenix Suns have a number of problems with their team, but doing anything  with Igor other than standing back and letting him do his job will be detrimental to the future of the franchise, as bleak as the future looks overall as it is.