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Early coaching names floating around league circles as a replacement include former Knicks guard and Brooklyn native Mark Jackson, who last coached the Golden State Warriors to a 51-31 record in the 2013-14 season. “I think he could do well there,” one Eastern Conference scout told CNBC shortly after Fizdale’s dismissal was reported. “But would they hire Mark?”
The New York Knicks are in negotiations with Kurt Rambis on a new contract for a position on Jeff Hornacek’s coaching staff, league sources told ESPN.
Sources say that the decision to hire Rambis was made ultimately by Hornacek. “Nothing is being forced down Jeff’s neck,” one source with knowledge of the dynamic said, in reference to the idea that team president Phil Jackson would force Hornacek to hire Rambis. Sources told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne that Hornacek had initially discussed the job with Rambis a few weeks ago but Rambis did not immediately accept, telling Hornacek that he should take time to really think through his staff and what he needed before making this decision.
Ian Begley: Jeff Hornacek says he will make the final call on his coaching staff hires. “I can decide who I want to have,” he said in an interview with WFAN. “With (ex-Knicks interim coach) Kurt (Rambis), I’ve had experience with him as a player, we played on the same team in Phoenix. I know Kurt’s coaching abilities, what he can provide to us. And I’ve talked to him once about the possibility and how he would fit on our staff. I’m going to continue to talk to him over these next few days as well as filling out the whole staff altogether. If we go on this process, if I think he’d be good for us, then I’d love to have him. If we talk and we just don’t seem like it’s going to fit then he’ll move on and get another job. Through our talks, we’ll figure that out.”
Chris Herring: Hornacek, on triangle: “To me, its just a way to space the floor.” Says you can run any play you want out of that style of offense.
Al Iannazzone: Hornacek said Kristaps will be in high pick and rolls, fade for 3s, post up. He has high expectations and they’re going to push him.
New York Knicks: WELCOME Jeff Hornacek to the #Knicks!
The seven-week Knicks coaching search officially ended Thursday when the club formally announced the hiring of former Suns coach Jeff Hornacek with a “Welcome” tweet from the team’s official account. It’s been known since May 19 that Hornacek shockingly would become Phil Jackson’s fourth head coach in his two-plus-year tenure, but as usual, the club that hasn’t won an NBA title in 43 years kept to its plodding pace, naming their coach on Day 1 of the NBA Finals. Contract negotiations began nearly two weeks ago, and Hornacek will be introduced at a gala press conference on Friday at noon, alongside Jackson and general manager Steve Mills.
“Jeff has a tremendous basketball acumen and possesses strong leadership skills,” Jackson said. “During his career as both a player and coach, he has demonstrated the ability to elevate the game.”
“I am extremely excited and honored to be the next coach of such an historic franchise,” Hornacek said. “I look forward to working with Phil – a coach and teacher of the game I have admired for many years – and collaborating with him and our staff to take this team to the level that Knicks fans expect.”
Jeff Hornacek and the Knicks have finally reached an agreement on a three-year contract worth approximately $15 million, according to a league source.
There are conflicting reports to whether Hornacek will run the triangle. Several players, who did not want to be identified, said they were encouraged by the hiring because Hornacek will be given the freedom to install his own system. In his 2-plus seasons as Phoenix head coach, Hornacek did not run the triangle.
According to a source, the Knicks are plotting a gala press conference for Friday with Hornacek’s entire family — his wife, Stacy, and his three children, Notre Dame grad Ryan, and USC grads Tyler and Abby, a part-time sportscaster — in attendance. An official announcement on the hire has yet to be made but is expected Thursday.
Jeff Hornacek has reached agreement on a three-year contract to coach the New York Knicks, league sources told The Vertical. A news conference is expected later this week.
New York has won just 48 games over the past two seasons of Jackson’s presidency, but Jackson and the Knicks hope to build a contender around rookie Kristaps Porzingis and veteran Carmelo Anthony. The club is expected to announce Jeff Hornacek as its next head coach some time this week. Hornacek will be the second head coach Jackson has hired (a total that doesn’t include 2015-16 interim coach Kurt Rambis and 2013-14 head coach Mike Woodson, whom Jackson fired).
Some reports have suggested that Hornacek was Jackson’s preferred target throughout his coaching search. If that was the case, Jackson didn’t inform his good friend Rambis, who became the Knicks’ interim coach after Fisher’s dismissal. Jackson’s decision to hire Hornacek caught Rambis off guard, sources say. That Rambis would have a role with the organization was seen as a foregone conclusion earlier this month, but his future with the club is less clear now.
Hornacek also has to decide whether to retain assistants Jim Cleamons, Rasheed Hazzard, Josh Longstaff and Brian Keefe. His plans for the assistants are unclear, but it’s worth noting that Keefe and Longstaff are respected by many players for their hard work and selfless approach, according to sources familiar with the locker-room dynamic.
Another factor worth considering: Keefe and Longstaff are held in high regard by Oklahoma City stars — and soon-to-be free agents — Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.
According to multiple sources, Jackson was blown away during his interview Monday with Hornacek, the former Suns coach with whom he has had a nice rapport for 20-plus years, though they are not friends.
Well, Jackson fell for Jeff Hornacek on Monday, and a source said Anthony likes the choice. “He likes it because Hornacek runs a real modern offense — which will highlight [Kristaps] Porzingis,” a source familiar with Anthony’s thinking said. “That’s what Melo wants. He wants Kristaps to be as much a focal point of the offense as himself. He’s got a coach well-suited.”
Rambis is a good guy with a keen basketball mind, but the backlash from hiring one of Phil Jackson’s longtime lieutenants – all while the future of Jackson after next season is uncertain – would be enormous. Jackson is devoted to the triangle offense, and last month’s two-week triangle camp with Knicks players, which included daily meditation, film study and court work, league sources told The Vertical, was the strongest indication Rambis would get the gig. Yet as the weeks went by, everyone in the organization, including Jackson, came to the understanding the job needed to go to somebody else.
Marc Berman: NBA source says discussion of contract details between #Knicks and Jeff Hornacek commenced today. But official announcement up in air.
Ian Begley: Jeff Hornacek was at the Knicks facility today and contract talks have begun. Nothing is finalized at this point, league sources say.
Ian Begley: The NY Daily News reports an agreement in principle between Hornacek & the Knicks. Hornacek’s presence at the facility suggests it’s close.
Frank Isola: The Knicks & Jeff Hornacek have reached an agreement in principle but an official announcement is not expected tonight, according to source
Adrian Wojnarowski: The Knicks have offered coaching job to Jeff Hornacek and sides have started talks on a contract, league sources tell @The Vertical.
Marcus Morris: Happy for my guy Jeff Hornacek , one of my favorite coaches I’ve had. Knicks players will enjoy playing for him. #FOEinc
Frank Isola: No word about Knick assistants Jim Cleamons or the former OKC coaches who are all highly regarded….especially by Durant & Westbrook.
Sometime in the last few days, Jackson locked in on Jeff Hornacek as his top choice to coach the New York Knicks, zooming past David Blatt, Frank Vogel and Kurt Rambis, and stunning the entire basketball world in the process. As B/R first reported Wednesday night, the Knicks and Hornacek are moving toward a deal, though formal contract negotiations had not yet begun. One source monitoring the talks called Hornacek’s hiring “a foregone conclusion,” saying that all parties “want to make this happen.” Another source confirmed, “It’s as close as humanly possible.” This was not the conclusion anyone expected.
Hiring Hornacek, 53, who was fired by the Phoenix Suns in February, makes no sense, in general terms. Hiring Hornacek makes perfect sense, through the Phil Jackson prism. What Jackson values most—in both players and coaches—is an intellectual heft, an ability to think the game, and in Hornacek he saw an analytical mind whose basketball values are in line with his. “Intellectual capacity matters,” said one person with insight into Jackson’s decision — and now, more than ever, in an NBA shaped by advanced statistics, player tracking technology and sports science.
League sources indicate that the Knicks under Hornacek will indeed move away from a pure triangle approach, but will retain triangle elements (as many NBA offenses do). “He wants a system of play,” one source said of Jackson, “so that when he walks away, when you look at the New York Knicks, you say, ‘OK, I understand how the Knicks play basketball.’ ”
But team officials were “very cognizant” of the intense negativity directed at Rambis, sources said, and it would be foolish to discount it as a factor. (Rambis is likely to be retained in another capacity.) By hiring Hornacek, the Knicks averted a fan revolt—and more important, entrusted their future, and budding star Kristaps Porzingis, to an unmistakably bright basketball mind. As a rookie head coach two years ago, Hornacek guided the Suns to a 48-34 record—nearly doubling their win total and obliterating all expectations. He was runner-up for coach of the year, finishing just behind Popovich and ahead of Tom Thibodeau.
Marc Stein: As for Jeff Hornacek: Phil Jackson is said to be a longtime admirer of Jerry Sloan’s ways and so a fan of Hornacek, who thrived under Sloan.
Jeff Hornacek will be the new coach of the New York Knicks, league sources confirmed to ESPN’s Ian Begley. The Knicks made no announcement Wednesday night, but sources involved with the situation said a deal is expected soon. New York’s decision to hire Hornacek was first reported by Bleacher Report, with a source telling the website that a deal was “as close [to completed] as humanly possible.”
Sources have said Rambis would stay on board because of his triangle experience, but a source indicated it still is to be determined whether the triangle offense definitely will be used and if Rambis will remain or move to the front office. If the triangle returns, Rambis has all summer to tutor Hornacek in an offense many NBA cognoscenti consider outdated.
Steve Popper: Source said that Knicks and Hornacek have not yet begun contract negotations, but other candidates told Hornacek is the choice.
Ken Berger: Contract negotiations between the Knicks and Hornacek have not yet begun, source says. There is “mutual interest” between the Knicks and Jeff Hornacek, league source says. “Heading in that direction.”
Former Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy, speaking on Sirius XM Radio, said he’s heard that Hornacek won’t be saddled with Jackson’s beloved system. That would be an upset considering Jackson just held a triangle seminar with the majority of the Knicks roster. “The things I’ve heard is that he’s not going to be required to run the triangle,” Jeff Van Gundy said. “Which is smart from the standpoint that he’s never taught it before. So you don’t want to come in trying that you’ve never played in or taught. I’m interested in that. But I think it’s an inspired choice.”
Tommy Beer: Jeff Van Gundy calls Jeff Hornacek an “inspiring hire” and says the “tie in” to Phil Jackson is that Phil had great respect for Jerry Sloan. – RT: SiriusXM NBA Radio: AUDIO: Jeff Van Gundy has heard that Jeff Hornacek won’t be required to run the triangle with the #Knicks Listen –> http://bit.ly/27BBPe1
Tommy Beer: Per @Chris Herring – Jeff Hornacek was in favor of an up-tempo offense and encouraged his team to shoot 3’s early and often: https://t.co/XYVTIzAaFE
Kurt Rambis was part of Jackson’s triangle seminar last month and traveled with the Knicks’ contingent to the pre-draft combine in Chicago this week. He is expected to remain with the organization, whether as an assistant or in an executive position.
Jeff Hornacek will be the new coach of the New York Knicks, league sources confirmed to ESPN’s Ian Begley. The news was first reported by Bleacher Report. The Knicks and president Phil Jackson interviewed the former Phoenix Suns coach earlier this week.
Frank Isola: FYI: A source close to Jeff Hornacek says talks still on-going. No deal as of yet. “Not sure why all these reports out there,” source said.
Howard Beck: Breaking: Knicks will hire Jeff Hornacek as head coach, per NBA source.
Ian Begley: The Knicks will hire Jeff Hornacek as their next head coach, a league source confirmed to ESPN. First reported by Bleacher Report.
Howard Beck: On Hornacek-Knicks: It’s “as close as humanly possible,” per source, tho not official. Deal is expected soon, barring any unforeseen snags.
Zach Lowe: Hornacek is a good coach — creative thinker, adaptable to roster skill set. Big questions are obviously: triangle, defense. Solid hire.
Frank Isola: Jeff Hornacek’s interview with Phil Jackson was today in LA, according to a source. Hornacek also a top candidate for Warriors assistant job
Frank Isola: Since Carmelo said we’ll have “a problem” if Phil Jackson doesn’t expand coaching search, Knicks have met with Frank Vogel & Jeff Hornacek. Prior to Carmelo criticizing Phil Jackson for not talking to enough candidates, Jackson had called Luke Walton & met with David Blatt.
It remains to be seen whether the Knicks will continue to broaden their search, as star forward Carmelo Anthony has openly wished for. But sources say Rambis is, at worst, expected to remain with the club as a lead assistant if Jackson shelves his long-held desire to make Rambis his full-time coach and ultimately hires someone from the outside.
Marc Berman: NBA source confirms Phil Jackson talked to former #Suns coach Jeff Hornacek about #Knicks job. Perhaps following Melo’s orders of due diligence.
Phil Jackson met face-to-face with with former Indiana Pacers head coach Frank Vogel last week, the Daily News has learned.
Kurt Rambis, David Blatt and Vogel are the top-three candidates for one of more coveted NBA jobs. Jackson’s meeting with Vogel also raises further questions to whether Garden Chairman James Dolan is opposed to signing off on Jackson’s preferred choice, Rambis.
Jackson understands that Rambis would be an unpopular choice, but hiring Rambis allows Jackson to be more involved in coaching the team, which is what Jackson clearly enjoys most about his current position.
Ian Begley: Knicks president Phil Jackson met last week with ex-Pacers coach Frank Vogel, league sources confirm to ESPN. In addition to Vogel, the Knicks have also considered Kurt Rambis and ex-Cavs coach David Blatt for their opening. The idea that the Knicks will eventually hire Kurt Rambis, which has been espoused widely in coaching circles, shouldn’t be viewed as a forgone conclusion, league sources say. It is unclear at this point if Jackson or the Knicks have talked to other available coaches about their opening. Jackson’s meeting with Vogel was earlier reported by the New York Daily News.
Jackson then met with Blatt, former Cleveland Cavaliers coach who was once Mills’ college teammate. Blatt appears to be the preferred choice of Mills, and if the Knicks hired Blatt, it could be interpreted as Dolan stepping in and siding with Mills, who figures to outlast Jackson in New York anyway.
Mike Fratello, former Cavaliers and Hawks coach and current analyst for NBA TV and the YES Network, threw his hat in the ring and told WFAN on Thursday he would like the Knicks job. “I just want one more big headache. How about that?” Fratello said, adding all the top teams used triangle principles, so he would, too. “San Antonio does it. Golden State has incorporated it. There’s a number of teams that have parts of the triangle that they use. They just don’t use the same wording as Phil and as his great assistant, Tex Winter, did over the years. So you can find a place for it in your offense.”
And though it is widely presumed that Knicks president Phil Jackson has all but decided to anoint interim coach Kurt Rambis, one league coaching source told CBS Sports Thursday that the job is “still wide open.”
The veteran forward didn’t address the coaching search on Wednesday, but league sources with knowledge of Anthony’s thinking said a report that stated he “likes” the idea of the Knicks hiring David Blatt is a gross exaggeration. This isn’t to say that Anthony wouldn’t support a Blatt hire if the Knicks choose to go that route. But the league sources say Anthony hadn’t expressed his opinion on Blatt to anyone. Blatt, of course, remains a candidate for the Knicks’ opening. Team president Phil Jackson and general manager Steve Mills met with Blatt late last month.
Interim coach Kurt Rambis is also a strong candidate for the job, sources say.
Rambis was in Chicago at the NBA’s draft combine on Tuesday with other members of the Knicks’ front office, according to league sources. If he isn’t hired as the Knicks’ next head coach, Rambis’ presence in Chicago further confirms that he’ll have a role in the organization in some fashion. Rambis was with a contingent from the Knicks’ front office that included Mills, assistant GM Allan Houston, vice president of basketball operations Jamie Mathews and director of scouting Kristian Petesic.
In addition to Blatt and Rambis, the Knicks have also reached out to representatives for ex-Pacers coach Frank Vogel to gauge his interest in the job. It is unclear whether either Jackson or Mills has discussed the Knicks’ vacancy with any other candidates.
Though his buddy LeBron James couldn’t stand him, Carmelo Anthony said he likes the idea of hiring former Cavaliers coach David Blatt, according to a person familiar with his thinking. Blatt interviewed with the Knicks two weeks ago and is being considered for the position, despite erroneous reports it served only as a courtesy interview.
According to an NBA source, the Knicks made contact with Vogel’s reps last week to gauge his interest and they got the green light.
Brian Shaw told ESPN’s Hannah Storm that he doesn’t expect to interview for the New York Knicks’ head-coaching vacancy. “Kurt Rambis is there,” Shaw said on SportsCenter in explaining why he doesn’t anticipate to be interviewed. “He’s very adept at running the triangle, and if Phil Jackson wanted a coach that’s going to run that system for him, he has a guy that’s there that he has confidence in. So I don’t see him bringing in somebody else who has the knowledge of that system when he already has somebody there.”
Late Lakers owner Jerry Buss, with his new Staples Center and expensive skyboxes set to debut, changed his mind once Jackson expressed interest. Buss felt he needed a marquee name. Rambis was removed from the staff completely, demoted to broadcaster and, according to the controversial biography “Mindgames,” conducting arena tours. According to the 2002 biography, Buss’ daughter, Jeanie, who didn’t know Phil Jackson from Andrew Jackson, was furious. Jeanie had been close friends with Rambis’ wife, Linda, since the 1980s. “Mindgames” described Rambis as “discouraged, confused and bitter.’’ Two years later, in 2001, at Jeanie’s behest, Jackson promoted Rambis to his staff, demoting triangle legend Tex Winter. But Rambis’ head-coaching career never took off.
Roland Lazenby, the “Mindgames” author who is out with a new book on Kobe Bryant in August, said he believes Rambis will be the guy and explained a move that would not go over well with fans on social media. If Jackson is making up for 1999, it’s in his subconscious. “I think Phil believes Kurt is the best way to accomplish his goals of getting the triangle up and running and winning with it,’’ said Lazenby, who has covered Jackson since his Chicago stint and remains close to some of Jackson’s associates. “Fans and media are focused on Rambis’ image of losing in Minnesota [32-132] and in New York [9-19]. Phil’s more focused on the reality. He needs Kurt, a good experienced coach who allows Phil access. They’ve been thinking together for years now.’’
In other words, there is nothing on Vogel’s résumé that occurred in any other country than the one that claims to have invented the game and most of the sideshows that go with it. Meanwhile, according to a person close to Blatt, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the current coaching search, Blatt at least came away from his chat with Jackson with the belief that he was a legitimate candidate for the Knicks job.
He pitched himself to Jackson as a defensive-minded coach who, while playing collegiately at Princeton, was reared on the joy of a deliberate, five-man offense and therefore amenable to embracing Jackson’s beloved triangle. He reminded Jackson that he initially went to Cleveland in 2014 to coach a young, undisciplined Cavaliers team, a work in progress. That was before James suddenly returned as the homecoming King, when the Cavs were essentially the Knicks, minus the veteran shotmaking of Carmelo Anthony.
The Knicks have made contact with the agent for Frank Vogel, but have not yet requested an interview, according to a source close to the former Pacers coach.
According to the source, Knicks GM Steve Mills has done his due diligence in contacting Vogel’s reps. He expressed that Phil Jackson has not made a decision on how to proceed. The key to the exploratory phone call was finding out whether Vogel would have interest in the job, and it seems he does. “I think the Knicks wanted to see where Frank’s head is at,” the source said.
Sources familiar with Jackson’s thinking feel he’s leaning toward re-upping with interim coach Kurt Rambis because he wants to take it a step further with the triangle. However, there could be a scenario of Vogel becoming head coach and Rambis sliding over as offensive coordinator.
Kurt Rambis, the interim coach who finished last season with a 9-19, participated in Jackson’s offseason triangle seminar and remains the frontrunner until Jackson shows otherwise. Multiple executives around the league expect Rambis to get the job.
The Zen Master has headed to the frontier to collect his thoughts on a coaching search mostly mocked for its relative inactivity and that has placed interim coach Kurt Rambis as frontrunner. “Still thinking it through,” one Jackson associate told The Post. “He’s always been such a quick thinker — always three, four steps ahead of everybody else. But that’s as coach. Being the executive is really different for him.”
A source close to Frank Vogel admitted there could be intrigue in coaching the Knicks as his family and relatives come to all the Garden games.
Sources close to Jackson have said the Zen Master appears in no rush because the Knicks don’t have a first- or second-round pick and, hence, aren’t consumed with pre-draft workouts. There’s been speculation Jackson was waiting to see whether any coaches dropped into the pool after the first round.
Vogel’s job has been said to be in jeopardy in past years. He would seem a perfect fit if front-runner Kurt Rambis agrees to slide over as the offensive coordinator of the triangle. According to sources, Knicks owner James Dolan felt Vogel outcoached Mike Woodson during the Knicks’ seminal six-game playoff defeat to the Pacers in 2013. The Knicks carried a 54-28 record into the second-round series before being upset – the pivotal moment coming when Carmelo Anthony was blocked at the rim by Roy Hibbert late in the fourth quarter of Game 6.
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June 28, 2022 | 5:31 pm EDT Update
Adrian Wojnarowski: Los Angeles Clippers center Ivica Zubac has agreed on a three-year, $33 million extension, his agents Jeff Schwartz and Mike Lindeman of @excelbasketball tell ESPN. The Clippers declined his $7.5M team option for 2022-2023, clearing the way for Zubac’s new deal.
Law Murray: Source confirms to @Theathletic that LA Clippers center Ivica Zubac is getting a raise. 3-year, $33 million. @Wojespn first. No options, fully guaranteed, hits market 2025. Not trade eligible this offseason. Longest-tenured Clipper returns as unquestioned starting center.
Tim Cato: I’ll add to the chorus: the Mavericks have had a belief for at least the past couple weeks, multiple sources tell me, that Jalen Brunson would sign with the Knicks. at this point, it’s seen as a certainty.
James Edwards III: Sources: The Pistons will not pick up the team options of Frank Jackson, Luka Garza and Carsen Edwards. Additionally, Detroit’s two two-way guys are Braxton Key and Buddy Boeheim, so Jamorko Pickett no longer holds one of those spots.
Matthew Tynan: Spurs have announced their Summer League roster. Joshua Primo, Jeremy Sochan, Malaki Branham and Blake Wesley will all be in Las Vegas.
The Charlotte Hornets announced today that guard James Bouknight underwent successful surgery yesterday to repair a tendon in his fifth digit on his right hand. The surgery was performed by Dr. Brandon Valentine at Novant Health Charlotte Orthopedic Hospital in consultation with Hornets team physician Dr. Marcus Cook. Bouknight will not participate in the 2022 NBA Summer League.
Marc Stein: Yet I can unreservedly say that this old newspaper nerd is absolutely entranced by this platform and all of its possibilities … as much as I miss the honor of seeing my words printed on the NYT’s pages. I can honestly say, with gratitude and relief, that I thought I would miss the printed word more. It doesn’t torment me nearly as much as I anticipated when I see a Times rack and know that there is a zero percent chance that I have a story on those pages. I’m too busy trying to map out what to write next and when to print it to best connect with my loyal (and patient) readers, whose faith and support make it possible for me to cover the league as an independent journalist. All the costs attached to proprietary reporting — like travel, health care, etc. — fall almost fully on me now, so the assistance is vital in helping me produce the best possible content.