Darko Rajaković

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Darko Rajaković
Phoenix Suns
PositionAssistant coach
LeagueNBA
Personal information
Born (1979-02-22) 22 February 1979 (age 41)
Čačak, SR Serbia, SFR Yugoslavia
NationalitySerbian
Coaching career1996–present
Career history
As coach:
1996–1999Borac Čačak (youth)
1999–2007Crvena zvezda (youth)
2009–2012Espacio Torrelodones
2012–2014Tulsa 66ers
20142019Oklahoma City Thunder (assistant)
2019–presentPhoenix Suns (assistant)
2019Serbia (assistant)
Career highlights and awards
As assistant coach:

Darko Rajaković (Serbian Cyrillic: Дарко Рајаковић; born 22 February 1979) is a Serbian basketball coach, currently working as an assistant coach for the Phoenix Suns of the National Basketball Association (NBA).

Rajaković was the head coach of the Tulsa 66ers of the NBA G League for two seasons and the first head coach in NBA G League history born outside of North America.[1]

Education[edit]

Rajaković earned his degree in basketball coaching from the Belgrade Basketball Academy in 2004 and earned his degree in sports management from the BK University in 2006.

Coaching career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Rajaković began his coaching career at 16 years old with Borac Čačak in Čačak, Serbia.[2] Following his three-year stint in Čačak, Rajaković was named the head coach of the U-20 and U-18 teams of the Crvena zvezda in Belgrade. During his eight years in Belgrade, Rajaković led Crvena zvezda to two Serbian Youth championships.[3] To increase his basketball coaching acumen and knowledge, Rajakovic spent time with Lute Olson at the University of Arizona (2003) and Mike Krzyzewski at the Duke University (2007) and attended team practices and meetings at both universities.[4][5]

San Antonio Spurs (2004–2011)[edit]

From 2004 to 2011, Rajaković served as a scouting consultant and NBA Summer League assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs.[4]

Espacio Torrelodones (2009–2012)[edit]

In 2009, Rajaković become the head coach of the Espacio Torrelodones of the Spanish EBA League (4th-tier). Rajaković excelled in both recruiting and developing players. In his first season, Rajaković led the Torrelodones to the Primera Division – Community of Madrid Group (5th-tier) title, promoting the team to the Liga EBA.[3] In the 2010–11 Liga EBA season, the Torrelodones finished 7th in Group B with 16–14 record. In next season and his last as their coach, the Torrelodones finished 8th in Group B with the same record as for season before.

Tulsa 66ers (2012–2014)[edit]

In 2012, Rajaković became the head coach of the Tulsa 66ers of the NBA Development League. Rajaković led Tulsa to a combined 51-49 record over two seasons, including a 27-23 record and NBA D-League Semifinals appearance in 2012–13. During his time with the 66ers, Tulsa was assigned seven players from Oklahoma City a total of 50 times (the most in the league during that stretch), including Oklahoma City players such as Reggie Jackson, Perry Jones, Jeremy Lamb and André Roberson. Rajaković witnessed five of his Tulsa players receive call-ups to the NBA, including four to the Oklahoma City (Grant Jerrett, Daniel Orton, Mustafa Shakur and Reggie Williams). He coached 11 Tulsa players over the two years who were on an NBA roster in the 2013–14 season.[3]

Oklahoma City Thunder (2014–2019)[edit]

On 5 July 2014, Rajaković was named assistant coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder.[1] During his time with the Thunder, Rajaković has helped develop many players, including Steven Adams, Andre Roberson, Terrance Ferguson, Victor Oladipo, Dennis Schröder, and Alex Abrines.[6][7][8] Rajaković served as the Thunder’s head coach at NBA Summer League in 2014 and 2015. He was on the Western Conference All-Star Team coaching staff in 2014.[4] Rajaković helped lead the Thunder to the playoffs four consecutive seasons (2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019), making it to the 2016 NBA Western Conference Finals.

Phoenix Suns (2019–present)[edit]

On June 26, 2019, Rajaković was hired as an assistant coach for the Phoenix Suns.[9]

Serbia national team (2019)[edit]

On July 18, 2019, Rajaković was hired as an assistant coach for the Serbia men's national basketball team.[10] He made a debut at the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup where Serbia won the fifth place.

Head coaching record[edit]

NBA Development League[edit]

Legend
Regular season G Games coached W Games won L Games lost W–L % Win–loss %
Playoffs PG Playoff games PW Playoff wins PL Playoff losses PW–L % Playoff win–loss %
Team Year G W L W–L% Finish PG PW PL PW–L% Result
Tulsa 2012–13 50 27 23 .540 3rd in Central 5 2 3 .400 Lost Semifinals
Tulsa 2013–14 50 24 26 .480 5th in Central Missed Playoffs
Career 100 51 49 .510 5 2 3 .400

Personal life[edit]

Rajaković is fluent in six languages: English, Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian, Spanish, and Greek.[4][11]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Rajakovic Joins Thunder Coaching Staff". nba.com. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  2. ^ "Vice Meets Darko Rajakovic". video.vice.com. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
  3. ^ a b c "Thunder's Developmental League coach Darko Rajakovic joins Thunder coaching staff". welcometoloudcity.com. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d "Darko Rajakovic at kauffmansports.com". kauffmansports.com. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  5. ^ "Oklahoma City Thunder hire Darko Rajakovic as head coach of D-League Tulsa 66ers". thunderousintentions.com. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  6. ^ "Thunder journal: Assistant coach gives Adams free-throw shooting punch". oklahoman.com. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  7. ^ "Thunder's Terrance Ferguson heads for Summer League with sights set on growing game". oklahoman.com. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  8. ^ "How Andre Roberson-led film sessions are molding the Thunder's young defenders". oklahoman.com. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  9. ^ "Phoenix Suns announce complete coaching staff". nba.com. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  10. ^ "Rajaković u stručnom štabu Srbije". novosti.rs. Retrieved 18 July 2019.
  11. ^ "Oklahoma City Thunder: Thunder assistant Darko Rajakovic gets a long-awaited chance in the NBA". oklahoman.com. Retrieved 27 June 2019.

External links[edit]