According to ESPN’s Ian Begley and Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck, the New York Knicks are set to hire Steve Hornacek as their new head coach. A deal has not yet been finalized, but the Knicks have informed other coaching candidates that they are set on hiring Hornacek to the open position, according to ESPN.
Hornacek was fired as head coach of the Phoenix Suns back in February after the team got off to a 14-35 under his command. Hornacek coached the Suns for two seasons prior to being terminated in 2015 but never reached the postseason despite his team going 48-34 in 2013-2014 (finished in ninth place in Western Conference).
The Knicks are obviously trying to do something similar to what the Celtics did with Brad Stevens, and that is to hire a young and energetic coach who can connect with the young players on the roster (Kristaps Porzingas, Jerian Grant, and Jimmer Fredette if he ever gets out of the D-League). It will be interesting to see whether or not Steve Hornacek will be able to connect with the seasoned veterans on the Knicks (Carmelo Anthony, Robin Lopez) like the way Brad Stevens was able to do with his set of veterans (Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder) while also developing young studs who could be the future of the franchise (Isaiah Thomas, Marcus Smart, and Evan Turner).
The man who was supposed to coach the Knicks, Steve Kerr, on the next Knicks head coach, Jeff Hornacek. pic.twitter.com/fkhppF1K3p
— New York Sports Guys (@NYSportsGuys5) May 19, 2016
Steve Hornacek proved in Phoenix that he has the capability to turn a young and developing team into a playoff contender, as the Suns absolutely should have made the postseason in 2013-2014 with that 48-34 record. After the departures of Isaiah Thomas and Goran Dragic via trades, the Suns completely disintegrated and quickly became absolutely irrelevant in the Western Conference. Hopefully, for Steve Hornacek’s sake, the Knicks are not hoping for an immediate turnaround, especially considering the fact that the Knicks are a team full of question marks (Will Carmelo stay? Is Porzingas their future?). Only time will tell as to whether Steve Hornack is the right fit in the Big Apple, and there is a ton of pressure being put on him to turn this franchise around. The Knicks need to give Steve Hornacek, at least, two or three seasons to get this team right. Anything less than that is just unfair, but then again, that’s the business of professional sports, where a head coach only has so long to bring success to a franchise.