NBA rumors are swirling around Jeff Hornacek. He’s one of the hottest head coaching candidates around right now. According to NBC Sports, his latest interview was with the New York Knicks.
New York Knicks president Phil Jackson has been criticized by NBA fans because he seemingly is not taking his head coaching search seriously enough. The former Knicks forward recently took a vacation instead of spending his time finding someone to replace Derek Fisher on a permanent basis. Jackson also hadn’t interviewed a lot of candidates at that point.
Interviewing a candidate like Jeff Hornacek is a sign that Phil Jackson might not be as committed to the Triangle Offense as many assume. Hornacek doesn’t have experience in the system. He’s also not connected with the New York Knicks. This is simply Jackson doing his due diligence by interviewing a coach that is widely respected in the NBA.
Though he’s never played or coached in the Triangle Offense, it’s not impossible for Jeff Hornacek to learn more about aspects of the scheme. Phil Jackson is going to be around the New York Knicks practice facility. Jackson can always teach Hornacek how to implement some of his philosophies into schemes Jeff plans on using.
The more important questions about Jeff Hornacek is how he plans on utilizing the players.
Carmelo Anthony has seemingly lost some faith in Phil Jackson. He’s still a vital piece to the New York Knicks. They need Anthony on board if they want to get back to the NBA Playoffs. Jeff Hornacek would need to win over Carmelo, who has been requesting to be involved in the head coaching search. Jackson hasn’t asked for his star player’s feedback.
The most important relationship that Jeff Hornacek would need to build is the one with Kristaps Porzingis. The Latvian forward is the future of the New York Knicks. He showed so much potential during his rookie season. Porzingis can be dominant in the NBA. Hornacek needs to figure out how to make that happen.
Another thing that Jeff Hornacek needs to figure out is where he wants to play Kristaps Porzingis. Many within the New York Knicks organization believe that his future is at the center position. He can use his athleticism and versatility to dominate slower defenders in the NBA. His outside shooting is especially a weapon at center.
The big problem with moving Kristaps Porzingis to center is the fact that Robin Lopez has developed into one of the better players on the New York Knicks roster. He’s done a lot of the dirty work for the team. Lopez has also been quite useful to Porzingis, as he does all the dirty work to make the 7’3″, 240-pound kid look even better than he already does.
Since the New York Knicks don’t have any assets in the upcoming NBA Draft, it will behoove whoever the next head coach is if he were able to be a master recruiter. Jeff Hornacek isn’t in the same class as Gregg Popovich when it comes to that. However, he is liked by the players. Hornacek also has help from Phil Jackson himself.
This particular hiring is very important to Phil Jackson. He might not make it seem like it, but it is. There’s a very good chance that Jackson won’t be with the New York Knicks when the team needs to find it’s next head coach. Jackson may either leave or be fired if Jeff Hornacek – or whomever Jackson hires – does not work out.
Jeff Hornacek wasn’t the sexiest head coaching candidate, but New York Knicks fans seem like they would much rather have him than Kurt Rambis.
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