UPDATE: June 8
Ian Begley of ESPN New York reported that “[the Knicks] are in negotiations with [Rambis] on a new contract for a position of [Hornacek’s] coaching staff. He also noted that the decision is being made by Hornacek to keep Rambis around, “Nothing is being forced down Jeff’s neck.”
UPDATE: June 2
The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Knicks are finalizing a contract to bring on Jeff Hornacek officially. The deal is for three-years, $15-million with a press conference coming later this week, according to ESPN’s Ian Begley.
UPDATE: May 18
Derek Fisher didn’t cut it. And, apparently, Kurt Rambis was only a viable option for a short amount of time. According to Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck, the Knicks “as close as humanly possible” to hiring Jeff Hornacek as their new head coach.
In his three years as the skipper of the Phoenix Suns, 53-year-old Hornacek compiled a record of 101-112 before being let go 49 games into this past season. In 2013-14, his first year coaching, he and the Suns got a taste of how cutthroat the Western Conference can be and missed the playoffs despite an eye-opening 48-34 record. Much like former Suns head coach Mike D’Antoni, Hornacek’s system is a run-and-gun system with little stress placed on the defensive end of the floor. That first season was so miraculous because guys like Goran Dragic, Gerald Green, and non-injured Eric Bledsoe were athletic guys who torched open court defenses.
His two full seasons at the helm saw two squads that were top-10 in pace, and in the bottom-10 in opponents points per game allowed. Now it remains to be seen if Horacek will be forced to run the triangle, or if Phil Jackson will let his organization adopt a new style of play. The Knicks aren’t exactly flush with explosive athletes; an aging Carmelo Anthony with bad knees is far removed from the dynamic kid in Denver. Hornacek’s first year in Phoenix clicked because so many guys were put in the right system. Moreover, the shift in play style would be incredibly drastic.
New York got out on the fast break about as often as the Sixers won at home, and boasted the league’s fourth-slowest pace last season. However, due to their sluggish offense, possessions were limited and the Knicks, shockingly, were tenth in points per game allowed at 101.1.
Putting aside all the bad surrounding the Knicks, mid-way through the season we were talking about a playoff series taking place in the Garden. Ultimately, there was a collapse, but if Hornacek can channel all the positives from last year, we might see a shakeup in the bottom seeds.