They are a rebuilding team and may want to start next season with the coach who will lead them through it. Management hasn’t given any indication publicly that Hornacek is that person. Knicks officials have said they will evaluate everything after the season. Some of the names linked to the Knicks’ coaching job have been Mark Jackson, David Fizdale, Doc Rivers, Jerry Stackhouse, Chauncey Billups and Jason Kidd.
Jeff Hornacek is still pushing the Knicks to win games, and working on things he believes will help them next season — even if next season isn’t guaranteed for him. There’s been plenty of speculation about Hornacek’s job security. But the Knicks coach has one year remaining on his contract and is talking like someone who will still be coaching the Knicks next season.
“I still have next year so unless they tell me something different,” Hornacek said after Tuesday’s morning shootaround. When asked if he fully expects to be back, Hornacek responded, “I think everybody does.”
With his team vying for a playoff spot despite trading off Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, Doc Rivers has done one of his best coaching jobs and still has strong supporters among the top people in the Clippers’ front office. If he stays on as coach, that could ruin the Knicks’ plans. There is a growing sentiment within New York’s hierarchy to hire Rivers, a former Knicks player, to replace Jeff Hornacek. Sources say Hornacek’s days in New York could be over once the season ends. It hasn’t been all of his fault, but he was brought to the Garden by former team president Phil Jackson and not the current regime headed by Steve Mills.
According to a former Doc Rivers associate, it’s not far-fetched for the one-time Knicks guard to have interest in the team’s coaching job if Jeff Hornacek, who has one year left on his contract, is let go after the season.
Jeff Hornacek's contract is up after the 2018-19 season, and Perry has said that he and Mills will evaluate Hornacek -- and all other aspects of the organization -- after the season. Hornacek was hired by former Knicks president Phil Jackson, so it certainly wouldn't be a surprise if Hornacek is let go by the club's new management after this season. [...] Some players have privately grumbled about Hornacek's rotations, according to sources familiar with the matter, but Hornacek was given the freedom to run his own offense and was handed an imbalanced roster and tasked with trying to fight for a playoff spot while developing young players.
It's premature to speculate on where the Knicks might go if they decide to let Jeff Hornacek go after the season. The group of available candidates could include Jason Kidd, David Fizdale, David Blatt, Monty Williams and current ESPN broadcaster and former Warriors coach Mark Jackson, who has strong relationships with several people in the Knicks organization. San Antonio Spurs assistant Ettore Messina will likely draw interest from teams with vacancies as well.
Phoenix and Memphis already have made coaching changes and according to several NBA team executives there could be as many as 10 job openings this offseason. That list could include both Los Angeles clubs as well as the Knicks, a team that has performed better than expected under Jeff Hornacek.
As for Doc Rivers, he’s done one of his best coaching jobs by keeping a depleted roster in the Western Conference playoff race in the post-Chris Paul era. If Rivers is out he may return to television although his name will surface in Orlando and New York should those jobs become available.
Rivers is one of several coaches with Knicks ties who could re-surface this summer. Mark Jackson would be in play for the Knicks job and is said to be interested in coaching again in the right situation. The same is true of Jeff Van Gundy, who is satisfying his coaching Jones by being in charge of the U.S. national team in qualification rounds.
As speculation about Jeff Hornacek’s job security ramps up, the coach said that he shouldn’t be judged on the team’s recent skid because these growing pains were part of a plan dictated by the front office. Jeff Hornacek also believes he has the backing of GM Scott Perry and president Steve Mills, despite being inherited by them as Phil Jackson’s hire. “We were talking about rebuilding and we got off to a good start because we had a lot of home games,” Hornacek said. “Scott and Steve, everybody’s still on the same page of trying to get our young guys opportunities. We’re still trying to win games. We still want to establish an identity where defensively we’re going to get after it all the time and we’re building toward that. It’s great to have their support.”
“You always want to win. We know it’s a process that we kind of got to grow into,” Hornacek said. "Players want to win every game. Coaches want to win every game. Management wants to win every game. But you also have to keep that big picture in mind and always think about are we making strides. Or are we just trying to win games and the strides stop? We always have to keep that in mind.”
Who’s next? With Chicago having fully entered rebuilding mode and presumably taking some heat off the embattled Fred Hoiberg, uncertainty shrouds the future of the Knicks’ Jeff Hornacek, largely because the executive who hired Hornacek in June 2016 — Phil Jackson — is already gone.
Some Knicks also feel that the offense is easy to defend. Opposing players have told the Knicks that they can predict where they'll be when running the triangle, and one Eastern Conference coach last season told friends that defending the triangle was one of the easiest assignments in the league because of that. The return to the triangle is one reason why several veterans have started to lose faith in Hornacek recently, sources say.
Despite the brutal record and growing input of Phil Jackson, who reversed the head coach’s offense, Jeff Hornacek’s job is safe, according to an NBA source. In his three years as team president, Jackson has had four head coaches and, though this club was built to win now, there’s no plan for a fifth head coach this summer. The Knicks fell out of the playoff race in early March and take a pitiful 27-41 record — the league’s seventh worst — into Thursday’s Garden rematch against the Nets.
When Jackson fired Derek Fisher in February 2016, during the coach’s second season, it was because of a poor won-loss record. Sources insist Fisher was dismissed because of his lack of communication with Jackson, failing to respond to his Jackson’s emails promptly and a passive-aggressive resistance to Jackson being involved with coaching aspects. Hornacek, according to an NBA source, gets high grades on both counts — maintaining a strong rapport with Jackson and associate head coach Kurt Rambis, Jackson’s longtime compatriot.
What Anthony and Porzingis said about the state of the Knicks on back to back days over the weekend was telling. Both players have questions about the coach, the offense, Jackson and the direction of the franchise.
One player said that Anthony was so distraught following Wednesday’s loss in Milwaukee that he headed directly for the shower after the game and was cooling down as Hornacek addressed the team in the post-game locker room. By Sunday, Porzingis described the Knicks as being a bundle of confusion.
The word around the league is that Jackson believes he built a solid roster that has simply under-performed. That is an indictment of the coach.
September 18, 2021 | 8:54 am EDT Update
There are reports that Anthony Davis will play center for the Los Angeles Lakers this coming season with LeBron James taking the power forward position. In the past AD said that he does not love playing the five but can do it if needed. Lakers legend James Worthy thinks that the best option is to use the former number one pick in the post. “I think initiating Anthony Davis in the post is the best option,” Worthy said on Spectrum SportsNet. “I’ve never been one of those players to say ‘I don’t wanna play three, I wanna play four. I wanna play.’ I don’t know what the problem is, maybe who he defends or where he is on the floor. I think the five is a good spot for him. Because other fives don’t have a shot at guarding him.
“You want to make opponents make adjustments. Him at the five shooting three is going to pull Gobert out and they’re going to have to put somebody small on him and he can take advantage of that. I think he needs to look at what position best suits the team and what position best suits how they wanna play before he just says ‘Ahh, one or the other.’”
When these outlandish claims air nationally, it doesn’t take long to go viral on social media. When it does, everyone talks about it and shares it everywhere. When the comments are negative, it can result in fans saying disrespectful things, but this comment did something different. “You got a bunch of white kids that repeat ‘I want Iguodala!’ all the time. That’s just a cool thing about it. But when you break down real basketball. Nah, I wouldn’t do that,” the Warriors vet furthered.
Scottie Barnes: I remember walking into the green room after Adam Silver called my name, and some people from the front office were waiting for me. We were shaking hands, and making introductions, and I was so excited I could barely get the words out. But there was one main thing that I really wanted to get across about myself: I’m ready to work. Not ease into it, not half-do things or make excuses because I’m one of the new guys. I’m ready to work. I’m ready to grind. I’m ready to WIN. And I could tell that the feeling was definitely mutual. So, to the fans, I want y’all to hear it straight from me: I couldn’t be happier to be here in Toronto.
Shane Young: When speaking after today’s event, Jerry West was asked about Steve Ballmer’s passion for the Clippers and the community: “His enthusiasm is real. There’s not one fake thing in him. There’s not. I admire him a lot.”
Shane Young: Jerry West on Steve Ballmer: “He’s just a unique man. It’s been fun to be involved with him. It’s been fun to see the progress this franchise has made. More importantly, this is the ultimate gift to his team and the city of Inglewood.”
September 18, 2021 | 2:39 am EDT Update
The Bulls’ offseason overhaul couldn’t have come at a better time, as Zach LaVine is on the final year of his contract with an extension yet to be signed. But if it were up to LaVine himself, he’s reportedly all-in on staying in the Windy City. That’s according to ESPN Chicago radio analyst David Kaplan, who’s heard from sources that the All-Star doesn’t want to go anywhere. Via ESPN 1000 FM: “He has told people that I know: ‘Hey man, if they want me here, I’m not going anywhere. I’m building this thing. I’m the first guy in the door. I wanna be part of this.’”