Igor Kokoskov on Mike Malone joining Serbia: “The desire to cooperate still exists. If he’s willing to be here, that’s fine”

Mike Malone
Photo: Russell Lansford-USA TODAY Sports

The head coach of Serbia Igor Kokoskov addressed the possibility of Denver Nuggets head coach Mike Malone joining the national team.

“The desire to cooperate still exists. He’s a prominent NBA coach. If he’s willing to be here, that’s fine. The team won’t be based on Igor or Mike Malone but on the players and, most importantly, on them being here.

What I can say is that from our side, we did everything to be professional and transparent. When that idea came up, we were there to welcome him.

After my appointment, I got a call with his [Malone’s] congratulations and his proposal to join us. That was one very nice [form of] congratulations to me. If not recognition.

We said OK. He asked for some time, we said OK. He asked for the club’s permission, we said OK. He asked for that information to be kept to ourselves for some time and we again said OK.

So the situation from our side was handled very professionally and responsibly. We did absolutely everything to welcome him,” Kokoskov said in the press conference ahead of the EuroBasket Qualifiers games of Serbia vs. Finland and Georgia.

Even though Serbia had announced the agreement with Malone, the head coach of the Nuggets denied it and mentioned the talks were ongoing.