New York Knicks Hire Jeff Hornacek; Will Become Head Coach
Jeff Hornacek was officially introduced Friday morning as the new head coach of the New York Knicks. Knicks’ President of Basketball Operations, Phil Jackson, hired Jeff Hornacek over anyone who had played or worked under him, even though he had said after the season he would likely pick somebody he already knew.
Jeff Hornacek signed a three-year coaching deal worth $5 million a year.
“I am extremely excited and honored to be the next coach of such a historic franchise,” Hornacek stated. “I look forward to working with Phil – a coach and teacher of the game I have admired for many years – and collaborating with him and our staff to take this team to the level that Knicks fans expect.”
Jeff Hornacek was fired in February, in the middle of his third year as the Pheonix Suns’ head coach. His dismissal from the Suns was really predicated on management turmoil and players injuries. In two and a half seasons in Pheonix, Jeff Hornacek’s record was 101-112.
He takes over a Knicks’ team that finished 32-50 last season. The Knicks failed to make the playoffs for the third year in a row. Jeff Hornacek becomes the fourth Knicks’ coach since Phil Jackson took over Basketball Operations in March of 2014. Mike Woodson was fired at the end of the 2013-14 season and Derek Fisher lasted a season and a half after jumping from player to coach.
Why Knicks’ Fans Should Be Happy
The major plus behind hiring Hornacek is a faster pace of the offense. The Knicks ranked at or near the bottom of the NBA in offensive pace running the Triangle Offense over the last two seasons. Over the years, it has been shown that with the right personnel, the Triangle Offense could work (Jordan, Pippen, Kobe, Shaq). The problem with that is the Knicks never had the right personnel for the Triangle Offense at any point of the Phil Jackson regime.
While Jackson wants his offense ran with efficiency and perfection, the time may have come to think outside the box and bring in someone far removed from the Triangle. Derek Fisher was fired due to his attempting to tweak the offense a bit and Jackson disagreeing with the tweaks.
Did Jackson have a change of heart? In Hornacek, he must have.
Running an up-tempo offense would actually benefit the team and the two stars of the Knicks, Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis. Jeff Hornacek will not abandon the triangle offense, but promises to tweak it a bit to fit the player personal.
The Knicks ranked in the bottom five of the league in pace the last two seasons while running the triangle offense. While Jeff Hornacek was coaching the Phoenix Suns, the team ranked in the top 10 in terms of the pacing of the game.
Carmelo Anthony had his best all-around season as a Knick. Kristaps Porzingis was the steal of last year’s NBA Draft. The building blocks are there and with the salary cap going up and an entire summer to gel, Coach Hornacek believes making the playoffs next season is a very realistic goal for the New York Knicks.
(New York Knicks Hire Jeff Hornacek)