After electing not to stay in-house and keep interim Kurt Rambis as the team’s permanent head coach, New York Knicks president Phil Jackson is finally moving on.
On Wednesday night, reports of former NBA-great and Phoenix Suns coach Jeff Hornacek becoming the Knicks’ new head coach were confirmed, ending months-long speculation of who would assume the role as the team’s commander-in-chief after the firing of Derek Fisher in early February.
League sources indicated that the team had informed candidates involved in their coaching search that they had hired Hornacek. ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne also reported that Jackson told Rambis that he intended to hire Hornacek, with whom he reportedly had dinner at a New York steakhouse that night.
Hornacek was fired by the Suns in February after his team fell to 14-35 and sat in 13th place in the Western Conference. In his first season, he went 48-34, finishing second in coach of the year voting, while finishing 39-43 in his sophomore campaign.
Hornacek was one of four candidates the Knicks interviewed for their head coaching position. Former Cleveland Cavaliers coach David Blatt was brought in by Jackson, along with Rambis, and former Indiana Pacers coach Frank Vogel.
As a player, Hornacek enjoyed a 15-year career, spending his first six seasons in Phoenix, before two with the Philadelphia 76ers and the remainder with the Utah Jazz. He played in two NBA Finals with the Jazz in 1996-97 and 1997-98, losing both to the Chicago Bulls.
An official announcement is expected to be made in the coming days.