Phoenix Suns head coach Igor Kokoskov unsurprisingly had nothing but praise for EuroLeague conquering star Luka Doncic amid continued speculation that the Slovenian teen sensation will the number one pick in this year’s NBA Draft.
Doncic captured the EuroLeague MVP, Final Four MVP and Rising Star awards last season as he guided Real Madrid to their tenth championship in Belgrade nearly three weeks ago.
Before his landmark season with Real, Doncic guided Slovenia to their first ever Eurobasket title last summer. Playing alongside NBA veteran Goran Dragic, Doncic looked in his element and was rewarded with a spot in the Eurobasket All-Tournment team.
Kokoskov, who coached that Slovenia side last summer was impressed with Doncic’s work ethic, which has vastly kept on improving and could play a factor in Doncic’s destination next season.
“He’s an extremely talented player, he’s probably the most talented player I’ve ever coached being 25 years in this business,” Kokoskov said in an interview for the Phoenix Suns‘ “The Outlet” podcast. “He’s not the best player, but he’s the most talented one.”
Kokoskov continued: “He did a lot for me as a coach and for the Slovenian national team. He played really well. I think as an organization we helped him to grow as a player. We gave him a role he never had before. He played for Real as a rotation player. He was young, he’s only 18. Playing for the national team he had a completely different role. It was different. And expectations were different. He was a go-to-guy, one of the main players. He found a way and handled that part well. He proved that he deserved that attention and everything we gave to him.
“I think the team helped him and he helped us. His stats and the way he contributed and helped the team win all the games. It’s unbelievable. Our relationship is good, and our memories are great. The last time I saw Luka was eight months ago. For a young player, eight months is a lot. He’s improved a lot.
“It was a fun time. I really enjoyed coaching Luka.”
It is widely expected that Doncic will be in the top two picks with his main threat being Arizona’s Deandre Ayton, who is the favourite to be the number one pick.