If Igor Kokoskov gets fired, the Phoenix Suns should look at Fred Hoiberg

Phoenix Suns Igor Kokoskov (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns Igor Kokoskov (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images) /

If Igor Kokoskov does indeed get fired as was being widely speculated on Twitter yesterday, the Phoenix Suns should take a look at Fred Hoiberg.

The Phoenix Suns may have ended their 17-game losing streak Monday night against the Heat, but it might be time to consider potential coaching replacements if Igor Kokoskov gets fired after the season. Fred Hoiberg should be considered if the Suns decide to make a coaching change.

Many fans think that Kokoskov hasn’t gotten a fair chance to show what he can do because he hasn’t had a point guard in his only season as an NBA head coach. In a poll our Twitter ran, 46% of people voted to keep him because of this reason.

However, the harsh reality is that the Suns are still 12-50 with the worst record in the NBA. This season has been disappointing and it is hard to look at their roster and accept the fact that the team has a .194 winning percentage 60 games into the season. Taking this into consideration, Kokoskov could very well get fired.

If that happens, a coach the Suns should look at is Fred Hoiberg. Hoiberg got fired by the Bulls earlier this season after a 5-19 start. Like Kokoskov, a lot of people did not think Hoiberg ever got a fair shot with the Bulls.

The Hoiberg firing was confusing because the Bulls were not expected to make the playoffs this year, and the Bulls dealt with many injuries early in the season. Denzel Valentine, Bobby Portis, Kris Dunn, and Lauri Markkanen all missed significant time.

During the 2017-18 season, the Bulls went 27-55. That was also not good but that was the team that traded Jimmy Butler to the Timberwolves before the season. Again, this was not supposed to be a team that was going to be a playoff threat.

Dwayne Wade defended Hoiberg after Wade was bought out by the Bulls before the 17-18 season. Wade said that Hoiberg never got an opportunity to show what he could do with his coaching style.

The 2016-17 season saw the Bulls go 41-41, good enough for the eight seed in the playoffs. They lost to the Celtics in six games, but you may remember this series as the one that the Bulls might have won if Rajon Rondo didn’t get hurt during the series. This was Hoiberg’s best season as a coach in the NBA.

Fred Hoiberg’s major coaching accomplishments came as the head coach of Iowa State from 2010 to 2015. What Hoiberg did at Iowa State was remarkable. He went 115-56 in five seasons and led the Cyclones to 4 NCAA Tournament appearances. This was an Iowa State team that had dwelled at the bottom of the Big 12 for years and hadn’t made the tournament since 2005.

Not only did Hoiberg win at Iowa State, his players absolutely loved him. Former Cyclones star Georges Niang chose to wear the number 32 in 2017 with the Pacers because 32 was Hoiberg’s number during his playing days at Iowa State.

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Hoiberg knows the NBA. He played in the league for 10 seasons, and he has worked in an NBA front office. If Kokoskov gets fired, Hoiberg should be a top candidate for his replacement.