Al Iannazzone: Another thing being by Knicks officials said is they want a coach who connect with today’s players. Communication was apparently a factor in firing Hornacek.
Adam Zagoria: Scott Perry says #Knicks have already begun to get calls on the job: "This morning we started getting calls. We have not talked to the official candidates yet but we've gotten calls from their representatives."
Al Iannazzone: Perry said no timetable is being put on naming a coach. They’re not saying before draft combine, etc. they’re going to do their due diligence
The Knicks intend to contact Villanova's Jay Wright about their head coaching vacancy, the Daily News has learned. According to a source close to the club, Knicks management believes Wright would be a perfect candidate for a rebuilding club.
Wright, who has won two national championships over the last three years, has been linked to NBA jobs in the past but has never given any indication he wants to leave Villanova. "He told me years ago that he wanted to make Villanova into the Duke of the Northeast," says a person close to Wright. "It would take a lot for him to leave."
Robinson is another longshot Knicks candidate, according to a team source. The former Oregon State head coach — and brother of former First Lady Michelle Obama — currently serves as the Knicks’ VP of player and organization development.
Jason Kidd: Perry, as a Michigan assistant, recruited Kidd all the way back at California and are said to be close. But Kidd burned the Nets and Bucks sources suggest the newly minted Hall of Famer was resistant to changing his ways.
David Fizdale: A wildly popular assistant coach in Miami, Fizdale was excelling with Memphis with a solid first year until brought down by an apparent feud with Marc Gasol. Heat sources believe Fizdale’s strong rapport with players is a strong suit and has learned defense under Pat Riley’s tutelage. Nevertheless, the Suns have eyes on Fizdale, best known for his “Take that for data’’ rant during the 2017 playoff run.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Knicks dismissed coach Jeff Hornacek, league sources tell ESPN. Management informed Hornacek of decision upon returning to New York late tonight.
Former Memphis Grizzlies coach David Fizdale, former Cleveland Cavaliers coach David Blatt -- now coaching in Turkey -- and former Golden State coach Mark Jackson are among the candidates that the Knicks are planning to contact, league sources told ESPN.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Sources: Another candidate Knicks planning to contact: Jerry Stackhouse, coach of Toronto G League affiliate.
Perry, who was hired as GM in July, will have the ability to find a coach with whom he finds alignment. The Knicks are determined to stay the course on drafting and player development as they as await the return of All-Star center Kristaps Porzingis, who isn't expected to return until midway through next season as he recovers from a torn ACL.
Marc Berman: Knicks source confirms Hornacek was fired upon landing in New York following Cavs loss. President Steve Mills expected to meet press tomorrow.
Jeff Hornacek said Wednesday morning that he hopes to be able to finish what he started and follow through with the plan that he and Knicks president Steve Mills put together after Phil Jackson was fired last summer. “We started it and we’d like to continue it, continue with this team to grow,” Hornacek said leaning against a wall outside the visiting locker room at the morning shootaround. “It’s very satisfying for coaches to take a team and build it and grow it. You can look around the league at some of the teams that are now some of the better teams in the league. They went through those same type of things.
NBA officials are convinced Mills and Perry will look to bring in their own guy. There’s no shortage of potential candidates — Mark Jackson, Dave Fizdale, Doc Rivers, Jason Kidd, Jerry Stackhouse and David Blatt have all been mentioned in speculation. “That’s part of the NBA,’’ Lee said of the coach’s uncertainty. “Trade deadline, everybody is in trade talks, everybody is in free-agent talks. You got to go about your business. You can’t let that distract you and that’s the same thing for [coaches]. They hear the talk. You still have to go about your job so it’s all the same. It’s all about being professional.”
In another bizarre episode Monday, after Kemba Walker tied it with 17 seconds left in regulation, Burke, feeling the hot hand, waved off Hornacek’s attempt to call a timeout. Burke then waved off the playcall — an attempt by Luke Kornet to set a pick — and ultimately botched the possession with a last-ditch, buzzer-beating airball. As Hornacek’s Knicks stint winds down to perhaps its final seven games, players may be displaying a level of rebellion that could be expected when led by a coach they know may not be back next season. The feeling around the league is Hornacek won’t be brought back by Steve Mills and Scott Perry and that the club may target Doc Rivers and Mark Jackson.
Meanwhile, according to an NBA source, the Noah-O’Quinn shouting incidents weren’t the first time the lame-duck Knicks coach got profanities thrown his way by a Knicks player. The source told The Post that late last season, Kristaps Porzingis, normally the politest of souls, cursed out Hornacek during a practice, using the F-word. While players and coaches get at it behind closed doors more than you’d think, the Porzingis-Hornacek tiff partially underscored why Porzingis didn’t show up for his exit meeting. Phil Jackson wasn’t the lone target of his franchise disgruntlement.
While Hornacek continues to trot out young players in the fourth quarter, he also gave a hint he would love to know soon about whether he’s coming back next season. Hornacek has one year left on his contract, and team president Steve Mills and GM Scott Perry may look to bring in their own guy.
“At the end of the season, I’m sure we’ll sit down with these guys [management] and figure out what we’re doing,” Hornacek said. “Obviously as a coach you’d like to know that. But our job right now is take the guys that we have on this team, try to get them better, make them work and try to do the best we can.”
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.”
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.
July 28, 2021 | 7:51 am EDT Update
And two players from the Bucks are not only also on the American team, but circumstances were such that the three had to share a private plane ride across the Pacific last weekend — a day after the Bucks’ championship parade. “The memories are there, but it’s nothing personal between us,” Booker said. “We lost and that’s it, and I’m man enough to accept that and move on. There’s no hate towards Jrue or K Mid.”
Months after LeBron James lost a Finals, he’d always say it was something he’d never get over. Good thing he never had to be Devin Booker, who barely had 10 minutes to try and put it behind him. “I’m a forward thinker and able to move onto the next thing, and be able to take my ‘L’ and move on,” Booker said Wednesday, in his first comments since the night his Phoenix Suns lost to the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 6 of the NBA Finals, eight days ago.
Booker’s coach on Team USA, Gregg Popovich, and teammate Draymond Green (not to mention assistant coach Steve Kerr, but we digress) have been in Booker’s shoes, having lost a Finals. He said Popovich and Green discussed it with him “in short conversation.” “Talkin’ about it with Draymond, and him stressing the fact that it’s not gonna be that easy to get back to the Finals,” Booker said. “I remember us as a team saying that in the locker room after we lost — you know we’ve got to understand, it’s going to be even harder to make it to the point we were at. … But I’m excited for the experience. It was great. I am glad I got to do it, obviously ended up on the wrong side of the stick, but that’s life.”
“It’s a HUGE deal,” former NBA player Raja Bell said of the international ball in a text with CBS Sports on Tuesday. “I’ve always said that FIBA balls affected my shot and other NBA players’ shots tremendously. I HATE that ball! “It’s lighter, feels smaller, different texture,” Bell continued. “I mean, when the art of shooting is based on muscle memory, and you change all the factors except the rim size and height, it’s going to be difficult.”
In another exchange with a Western Conference scout, the conclusion was similar. “[The ball is] definitely a factor,” the scout said. “How big a factor I guess depends on the particular player. But it’s an adjustment for everyone. Some guys are going to make [the adjustment] easier than others.” And another text from an Eastern Conference scout with international playing experience: “It’s pretty different, and it takes some getting used to. It’s much softer than NBA or college basketballs.”
It should be comforting for Jalen Johnson to know he’ll be a first-round selection in Thursday night’s NBA draft. What should be more stressful for the former Nicolet High School standout is where he’ll actually be chosen. Johnson, a talented 6-foot-9 forward, has elicited a wide-range of opinions from NBA draft personnel. Said one longtime NBA personnel director of Johnson: “He is, to me, the biggest wild-card in the draft. I wouldn’t be shocked if he went in the lottery, like around 12 or so, and I wouldn’t be shocked if he fell into the 20s.’’
“Part of the evolution of African interest and passion for the game goes back to Hakeem’s entry into the game,” said Victor Williams, chief executive of NBA Africa. “Giannis is doing the same thing for today’s generation of African kids — and they do recognize him as African.” Antetokounmpo is known as “The Greek Freak” because he was born in Athens, but he grew up in a Nigerian home. His mother, Veronica, is Igbo. His late father, Charles, is from the same Yoruba tribe as Olajuwon. His last name — Adetokunbo — was Hellenized when he finally became a citizen of Greece and received his passport, one month before the Bucks drafted him 15th in 2013.
In the 2020 draft, nine players from or with at least one parent from Nigeria were selected. Seven players in the Finals had ties to Africa: Mamadi Diakite (Guinea); Abdel Nader (Egypt); Axel Toupane (Senegal); and Deandre Ayton, Jordan Nwora and Giannis and Thanasis Antetokounmpo (Nigeria). “In a continent that is vastly made up of a young, vibrant, dynamic population, that’s the future,” Fall said. “So to see these young people on the global stage doing big things, I think across borders, whether he’s from Nigeria or Congo or Côte d’Ivoire, everybody is watching the NBA. What they are doing continues to build and add to the narrative and the momentum that’s been shaping up, in terms of basketball development on the continent.”