Knicks Hire Jeff Hornacek

Tim Fuller / USA TODAY Sports Images

Tim Fuller / USA TODAY Sports Images

JUNE 2, 10:04am: The Knicks have officially confirmed the hiring of Hornacek as their new head coach (Twitter link).

JUNE 1, 10:50pm: The pact will pay Hornacek $15MM over three seasons, Ian Begley of confirms.

2:17pm: Nearly two weeks after first being offered the team’s head coaching job, Hornacek has reached an agreement on a three-year contract with the Knicks, sources tell Wojnarowski. A news conference to formally announce the hiring is expected to happen later this week.

MAY 19, 4:35pm: The Knicks have formally offered the job to Hornacek and the two sides are engaged in contract discussions regarding the length of the deal and annual salary, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reports (Twitter links).

MAY 18, 7:15pm: A source close to Hornacek confirms that negotiations are still ongoing and nothing has been finalized, tweets Frank Isola of The New York Daily News. Jackson has apparently decided to hire Hornacek, Isola adds, but no contract is in place (Twitter link). Berman describes the process as “mutual interest,” but in the “very, very early stages.” (Twitter link).

6:43pm: Jeff Hornacek will be the next coach of the New York Knicks, tweets Howard Beck of Bleacher Report. Hornacek, who was fired by the Suns in February, became a candidate late in the process after team president Phil Jackson reportedly pushed to keep interim coach Kurt Rambis.

Former Cavaliers coach David Blatt and recently fired Pacers coach Frank Vogel were believed to be the other finalists for the position. The Knicks didn’t contact Hornacek about the job until three weeks after the search began, tweets Marc Berman of The New York Post.

The deal is not fully complete, Beck cautions, though a source tells him it’s “as close as humanly possible.” (Twitter link). Barring any last-minute complications, a formal announcement is expected soon.

Hornacek doesn’t fit the profile that would be expected of a Jackson coach. He’s not part of Jackson’s coaching lineage and he has never run the triangle. The hiring suggests that Jackson’s influence with owner James Dolan might be waning.

Hornacek comes to New York with a 101-112 career coaching record that he compiled in two and a half seasons in Phoenix. His only other coaching experience came in three years as an assistant in Utah. He had also talked to the Rockets about their head coaching position and was considered to be a candidate for the openings in Memphis and Orlando. ESPN’s Marc Stein reported this week that the Warriors had “strong interest” in hiring Hornacek as a lead assistant.

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28 thoughts on “Knicks Hire Jeff Hornacek

    • How would you say Thibs would’ve been a better fit than Hornacek? Hornacek did a great job in Phoenix with the team he was given and shaky roster he was constantly given.

  1. D-NBA

    Terrífic coach, he was dealt an unfair hand with that Suns team, leader of The Bledsoe/Dragic Suns. Knicks got the right coach.

    • Tommy

      Come on LES, make that bold and surprise move like the Knicks did and hire shaka smart are tom izzo as the next houston rockets head coach

    • warr1979

      Jackson was NEVER going to hire someone from the Riley tree that’s JVG and Tibs who was under JVG!!

    • Eddie Scarito

      Due to the mention that Golden State had strong interest in Hornacek as a lead assistant.

  2. mcdusty31

    I think this is why the Knicks have been unable to turn the corner…you hire one of the greatest basketball minds of all time and then fail to give him control over decision making…I’m not saying that the Knicks are built to run the triangle at the moment but as with most rebuilds or retools it takes time to acquire the proper personnel…if this is Dolan going over Phil’s head they may as well let Phil go and start over yet again…it always blows my mind how impatient franchises can be at times

    • Ralow

      Where are you getting that from? I’m pretty sure Dolan was at home eating Cheetos and playing his guitar during this coaching search. This was all Phil and Mills.

      • Exactly, I don’t think Dolan has had much, if any, input on the player control. It was widely known last year that all the players the Knicks targeted last year were targeted because they were deemed fits for the triangle by Phil.

        • mcdusty31

          And Hornacek is going to run the triangle? I just think that if you’re going to insert a certain philosophy you should keep it in line with what you’re trying to do…it’s like NFL teams constantly changing head coaches with opposite defensive schemes and not having the right personnel in place to run it properly

          • Steve in Chicago

            Horn axel showed his flexibility by running the 3 guard offense designed to maximize the use of the best players on the team in Phoenix. Not that different from the triangle, which is about constant ball movement and opportunistic defense.

          • No he’s probably not going to run the triangle (at least he shouldn’t since he probably knows the triangle less than some of the players) and it sucks for the players to have to learn a new system. I agree that the roster is not yet fully suited for the triangle, but given that Melo isn’t getting any younger and the pressure on Phil/the Knicks by the media and fans, going away from the triangle might or might not be the smartest move, but its the move that will appease the fans to some degree. Unless Phil starts coaching, the only other available coach to run the triangle is Shaw (lets completely forget about Rambis considering how terrible his track record as a coach is).

            • mcdusty31

              Yeah…I would’ve retained Rambis and stayed the course…they may have been bad last season but with Porzingis in the fold they are on their way out of the hole…a couple of decent draft picks and a few crafty free agent signings and they could’ve been competitive in the east…I could be totally wrong but I’m just in favor of letting a decision play out before you just completely scrap it and start over

    • nbasniper#1

      The NY Knicks fans have been too patient, too long. Another season of impotence is just too much to ask of its fan base. Jackson should take his “Zen” nonsense as well as that “archaic” triangle offense back to “La-La land.” I’d rather see Jackson behind the bench coaching than forcing the next coach to run the “triangle” disaster… Jeff Hornacek was a good player, and a nice guy, but has no real coaching history success.
      At least half of current roster will be gone this summer. The pursuit of top free agents this summer is their main priority for future franchise success.
      Kevin Durant would absolutely turn the NYK into a contender in the east.
      If the Knicks can not attract top free agents, then they must rely on draft picks to resurrect their flopping franchise. These days its not easy to be a confident fan if your team is the NY Knicks….

      • Hornacek doesn’t have “led his team to the playoffs” success, but he has been successful. His first year (or was it his second?) he took a Phoenix squad that was projected to be a lottery team to barely missing the playoffs (I think that year, if Phoenix was in the Eastern Conference they would have been a 5/6 seed based on record). After that, the team was a borderline nightmare because of the whole three point guard thing. I don’t know if that was Hornacek who wanted it or the GM but that whole mess plus the Morris twin situation wasn’t conducive to Hornacek’s potential success.

  3. Godgiftsjoejr

    how good can the Knicks be with him as the man running the offense.. would him and Carmelo get along.. can he get the Knicks back to the playoffs

    • I don’t know if he can get the Knicks back to the playoffs this year, considering the roster needs a lot of work, but the year after should be a reasonable expectation. By then Porzingas will be in his third year and the established guys (mainly Melo and Lopez since who knows will still be around two seasons by then) should have a full grasp of the system and Hornacek should have most of the roster filled with the players he wants/needs for his system.

  4. bobhutt99

    Is Willis, Clyde, Patrick in their primes coming with him? If not, Jesus himself couldn’t help him make the playoffs with the current cast of stiffs. The Knicks are unwatchable. I see 20-62 coming up! Fire Jackson and Dolan.

  5. bobhutt99

    I wonder if antacids come with his contract because he’s sure to develop an ulcer with this bunch of stiffs he has to coach. What’s the under over on 20 wins?

  6. thatmansaballoon

    Knicks are a solid PG and another wing away from respectability. Trade for Brandon Knight wouldn’t be the worst idea given his ties to Hornaceck.

  7. bobhutt99

    Solid PG and a wing away? More like a wing and a prayer! They suck! Unless Clyde, Bernard King and Willis have found the Fountain Of Youth, and are walking thru that locker room door, you’re looking at another 50 loss season. I wouldn’t watch the Knicks for free if they were playing in a playground. Stop drinking the Kool Aid. Only Porzingus has any potential. Melo is a coach killer and a ball stopper who’s best ball hogging days are behind him. Can Jimmy Dolan strut a few tunes at half time instead of the Knicks City Dancers. We need some real entertainment. Guitar Strutin Jimmy Dolan would make a good show at MSG. He sure as hell doesn’t know anything about owning a team!

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