Knicks president Phil Jackson‘s decision to hire Jeff Hornacek caught former interim coach Kurt Rambis by surprise, Ian Begley of ESPN.com reports. It was largely expected that Rambis would have a role with the organization earlier this month, but his future with the Knicks is less clear now, Begley writes. Hornacek has to decide whether to retain assistants Jim Cleamons, Rasheed Hazzard, Josh Longstaff and Brian Keefe, as Begley notes. Keefe and Longstaff, in particular, are respected by many players for their hard work and selfless approach, according to Begley.
Here’s more on the Knicks:
- The move to hire Hornacek is Jackson’s final opportunity to correct the decision he made of bringing in Derek Fisher as Jackson’s first coach, Sean Deveney of The Sporting News opines. The hiring was a surprising one because Hornacek has no direct connection to Jackson, has never been involved with Jackson’s triangle offense and was at no point regarded as a front-runner for the job, Deveney writes. The extent of control that Jackson will allow Hornacek will be critical, Deveney adds.
- Eddie Johnson, who has the unique perspective of having been a former teammate of Hornacek and as the Suns’ TV analyst while Hornacek coached in Phoenix, believes Hornacek will utilize the pick-and-roll more often with Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis, Al Iannazzone of Newsday writes.
- Tyler Johnson, a restricted free agent this summer, would be a solid addition for the Knicks because he would fit into the triangle offense, Marc Berman of the New York Post writes in a list of free agent point guards that the Knicks may eye.