Surely New York Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek cannot already be on the hot seat less than two years into the job.
Except for the fact he might be.
And not only may he be coaching to save his job, but the New York Daily News‘ Frank Isola says the Knicks could already have their eyes on Mark Jackson as a replacement:
Hornacek should fight back because, like most coaches of losing teams, he is constantly fighting for his job, particularly when he’s working for new bosses and whispers of Mark Jackson possibly returning to New York one day grow louder. Yes, that Mark Jackson.
Whether that is just normal NBA chatter or an actual succession plan is unclear. But there is a growing sense that Hornacek, who has exceeded expectations this season, may be coaching for his job the last 37 games.
In all honesty, we should be here, crapping all over this report, talking about how, if anything, the Knicks are either right where their roster suggests they should be. But we’re dealing with the Knicks. So we have to take this seriously, even though, on its face, it remains absurd.
Hornacek isn’t some knight in shining armor. The offense is uninventive, his rotations can be curious, and he’s reluctant to experiment with some of the most versatile lineups at his disposal. But if the Knicks are looking for flexibility, Jackson isn’t the guy. He was essentially run out of town by the Golden State Warriors because of his stubborn ideals and constructs, both on and off the court. Sure, many of his players blossomed in front of him, but it wasn’t until he left that Stephen Curry and Draymond Green detonated into what they are now.
The Knicks will have every right to seek out a new coach this summer. Never mind what their record is down the stretch of these last 37 games. They should, in an ideal world, be tanking. But if they see that Porzingis isn’t being used with more creativity—or even the slightest hint of off-ball movement—a change could be in order. That change just can’t be Jackson. He’s not the guy you bring in to take what you already have and turn it into something different. He proved that much with Golden State.