PHOENIX — Suns’ general manager James Jones wanted to be clear, the decision to part ways with head coach Igor Kokoskov after just one season was his and his alone.
“I can tell you that there has not been a decision I’ve made that was dictated to me,” said Jones in response to a question regarding Suns owner Robert Sarver’s input into the matter.
Jones will now turn his attention to hiring the franchise's fifth head coach in five years. He wouldn’t get into specifics regarding candidates, but he did hint at the type of coach he’s looking for.
“We want a leader, someone that can relate to our players, someone that will challenge them, someone that will force them to thrive in a competitive environment.”
Jones added that he wants someone that embodies what the team needs to be.
“Our team needs to be competitive, so we look for that trait. We need to be aggressive as far as offensively and defensively and we need to be a team, not a collection of talent, not individuals but someone who really believes a team that is great than an individual.”
“When you see our next coach you’ll know he embodies what we want.”
Although it didn’t work out with Kokoskov, who had no previous head coaching experience, Jones isn’t shutting the door on hiring another first-time head coach.
“You don’t want to box yourself in. Of course having NBA experience as a head coach is gold, you want that. I think every team out there is looking for that and that’s definitely a characteristic and a trait that’s appealing to us, but some of the games’ best coaches were assistants that became best coaches.”
Jones was adamant that they’re looking for the ‘right guy’ and there are no budget or time constraints on making the hire.