Jeff Hornacek’s job with the New York Knicks is safe.
So be sure to send condolences his way.
Though the Knicks rank as one of this season’s biggest disappointments, team president Phil Jackson has no plans to get rid of his fourth head coach (remember, he inherited, then canned, Mike Woodson), according to the New York Post‘s Marc Berman:
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.
Keeping Hornacek is, in many respects, a logical move. He hasn’t exactly been great this season, but the Knicks haven’t given him an opportunity to be better. They handed him a crummy roster that can’t play defense and isn’t capable of making the playoffs, and he turned it into exactly that. He didn’t overachieve or underachieve. This season is not on him.
That doesn’t make him the right coach for Jackson. If the Zen Master is once again hijacking practices and forcing the triangle down the team’s throat, it’s not going to send a good message to the players about who’s in charge—about who they should respect. Kurt Rambis, the associate head coach, might have more power and influence merely because he, like Jackson, is married to the triangle. And that’s a problem. A big one.
For Hornacek’s sake, hopefully the Knicks give him the autonomy, or at least flexibility, to do his job. He didn’t have enough of either this year. So despite his inconsistent rotations, out-of-timeout play-calling and inability to get Derrick Rose or Carmelo Anthony to buy into a more equal-opportunity offense, New York has failed him way more than he’s failed it.