By Eurohoops team / firstname.lastname@example.org
Igor Kokoskov was the latest guest on Fenerbahce TV and spoke about his new beginning with the team in Europe and the expectations set in place, his coaching career in the NBA, as well as his relationship with Zeljko Obradovic.
Kokoskov traveled to Istanbul from Orlando earlier in August, as he was present in the bubble when the NBA season resumed and explained his adjustment period in the city. “It was a very rapid transition. Until a few weeks ago we were in the NBA bubble in Florida with the Kings. I am very happy to be here. My first impressions are very good. Istanbul is a city I love” said Kokoskov.
Referring to his long career as a coach in the NBA, Kokoskov discussed his early years in the team and compared the different eras.
“My first trips were for something like a coaching exchange program. I was 25-26 years old and organized all my travels myself. But the NBA and NCAA were so remote and untouchable places that we didn’t have much chance to reach them back then. Actually, my purpose in going there was for more information and to learn something. Because at that time I was both working in Partizan and I was the assistant coach of the Serbian national team. I was going to learn information, to taste different things. When I was there, the doors, however inaccessible, were open for both the NCAA and the NBA. Many opportunities for education, knowledge were provided. But it was a very different world. Compared to 20 years, it is now much more cosmopolitan, much more international. I wasn’t the best, but luckily I was one of the first. I was both the first youngster and the first international coach in the NBA, and I was one of the first to be a champion in the All-Star team”.
“Obradovic is someone I respect, love and watch. He is both my mentor and a very close friend. When he first came to Fenerbahçe, we talked about the task of being an assistant coach, but it was not the right time for me as I had an ongoing contract with Phoenix Suns. “You will go and be the European champion without me,” I said. He went and did it. “ he said.
The Serbian coach then evaluated the competition in EuroLeague next season and discussed the importance of communication within the team.
“I am very happy with the team as a coach. I am very pleased to be working with both the current players and newcomers. We have a group of players who are very healthy and hungry for success, who want to wear the jersey. There are 12 players and they all fit together very well. They are all hungry to play. We will be respectful of all our competitors. And we will do our best to win the next match. “ he added. “Communication is really important. At all levels. In the locker room, on a club basis, on a team basis… Okay, the team belongs to the players, but ultimately we play this match for the fans. Without them, it makes no sense. I am aware of the expectations because Fenerbahçe is one of the biggest basketball clubs in the world. Our biggest task is to do everything we can on the field. We can’t promise to win every match, but we promise to play with everything, and this is our biggest mission.”