Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul has reached an agreement with head coach Igor Kokoskov to terminate his contract, the club announced Tuesday. Kokoskov, age 49, joined Fenerbahce at the start of the 2020-21 season, helping it reach the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Playoffs, where it lost to CSKA Moscow. Kokoskov had a 20-16 record in the EuroLeague and went 22-8 in the Turkish League regular season before his team got swept by newly-crowned EuroLeague champion Anadolu Efes Istanbul in the domestic finals. Kokoskov joined Fenerbahce from Sacramento of the NBA, where he served as an assistant in the 2019-20 season. He had been part of NBA coaching staffs since 2000, when he joined the Los Angeles Clippers to become the league's first full-time non-American assistant. He held the same role with Detroit as that team won the 2004 NBA title, then with Phoenix, Cleveland, Orlando and Utah. In 2018, Kokoskov took over the bench in Phoenix, making him the first head coach in NBA history who was not born in North America. Kokoskov has also coached the Georgian, Slovenian and Serbian national teams. He made history in 2017, leading the Slovenian national team to the gold medal at the 2017 EuroBasket, a first for that country.
Fenerbahce issued the following statement:
We have parted our ways with Igor Kokoskov, who has worked as the head coach of Fenerbahçe Beko for the 2020-21 season.
Our team has started to build the roster very early this season, completing several important signings and having our roster ready for the new season before the end of June.
All the roster manoeuvres our club has made this off-season have been made in accordance with the requests of Igor Kokoskov, who was under contract until the end of the 2022-23 season, in addition to the all the other preparations for the new season, including arrangements made for our camp schedule and our friendly games.
As reported in the media recently, our club has been notified of the intention of the NBA team Dallas Mavericks to acquire our coach to add him to their staff.
Our coach has stated that he would like to accept this offer due to family reasons and his desire to go back to the USA to work in the NBA.
Our club has respected and accepted Igor Kokoskov's decision to leave at this point.
We thank Igor Kokoskov for his contributions to our club and we wish him success in the new chapter of his career.
As one of the biggest brands in men's basketball, Fenerbahçe Beko will continue to make the necessary moves to achieve its goals in the 2021-22 season, and our new technical staff will be shared with our fans as soon as possible.