Carmelo Anthony had no role in the decision to hire Jeff Hornacek, but he likes the choice, relays Marc Berman of The New York Post. Hornacek was a surprise name added to the Knicks’ coaching search when news of his imminent hiring leaked Wednesday. Contract details are still being finalized, but Berman hears a formal announcement could come Monday. Anthony commented publicly on the situation for the first time Saturday in an interview with WNBC, saying he welcomes the changes that Hornacek’s faster-paced offense will bring. “I played against him a couple of times when he was the head coach out there in Phoenix,” Anthony said. “Everybody knows he likes to play an up-tempo pace of game, likes to get out in transition, likes to speed the game up a lot. So from that standpoint, I’ll definitely be looking forward to that.” Anthony has said he wants to see how the Knicks’ offseason plays out before deciding to whether to waive his no-trade clause, so his approval of Hornacek may be a big step toward keeping him in New York.
There’s more Knicks news this morning:
- Steve Kerr, who turned down the Knicks job two years ago to become coach of the Warriors, thinks Jackson made a good decision with Hornacek, Berman writes in a separate piece. “I thought he did a phenomenal job in Phoenix,” Kerr said. “That first year he got them to within a game of the playoffs in a loaded conference in a year when they were supposed to be a high lottery team. This guy has a great knowledge of the game, great feel and he’s a really top-notch human being.”
- Anthony is hoping for a 20-year NBA career, posts Ian Begley on ESPN Now. The 31-year-old will have to play seven more seasons to reach that goal. “I think I’m in the prime of my career right now,” Anthony said in an interview with CNBC. “I have years to go in this league. I see guys playing 20 years. That’s a goal of mine — to play 20 NBA seasons.” Anthony has two years left on his current contract, plus an early termination option for 2018/19.
- The Knick who may benefit most from the Hornacek hiring is point guard Jerian Grant, Begley writes in a separate ESPN Now post. Hornacek is expected to bring more pick-and-roll plays to New York, which is something Grant excelled at during his time at Notre Dame. Begley cites Synergy Sports stats that show Grant was in the 72nd percentile in the nation on the pick and roll during his senior season, and the Irish averaged 1.1 points on those plays, which was in the 90th percentile.
- Hornacek’s interview with Knicks president Phil Jackson lasted about 5 1/2 hours, Hornacek’s father tells Kevin Armstrong of The New York Daily News. “Jeff must have said something right,” John Hornacek said.