Another disappointing Knicks season ends with the firing of Coach Jeff Hornacek. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t see it coming. Once Phil Jackson was fired and Scott Perry took over as GM, Hornacek’s days were numbered. I’m a proponent of new GM’s bringing in “their guys” to coach unless the coach in place has either had success or was a veteran. Hornacek was neither. 60-104 over two seasons is not good whatsoever especially when there were really no future plans for the team in place. It’s not like he was Brett Brown of the Sixers, who knew his team would lose games over a couple years, but it would eventually payoff once his young guns were developed and healthy. Also, losing Kristaps Porzingis in February was a backbreaker.
Hornacek is not free of criticism. I questioned his late game coaching strategies because the team would falter down the stretch at least once a week. The goal of this year was to develop young players, but it seemed as if that didn’t start happening until a few weeks ago. The team was out of it in January. Younger players like Frank Ntilikina should’ve been logging big minutes all year, not just the last month of the season.
However, Hornacek was destined to fail from the very beginning and for that, I do feel for the guy. Last season was a dumpster fire with Phil Jackson calling the shots. Phil set us back years with some of the contracts he handed out (looking at you, Joakim Noah). Phil forced Hornacek to run the “triangle” offense and created a media frenzy with the Carmelo Anthony drama. I’m honestly happy for Hornacek because he can now move on from this mess and put in his rear view mirror. I truly do wish him the best and hope he gets back on a sideline someday. More importantly, I hope he gets a fair shake.
Credit to Knicks president Steve Mills and GM Scott Perry for dismissing Hornacek immediately. No need to drag this out. Rip the bandaid off and move on. Now, it’s time to find our coach of the future. Knicks fans, I’m saying this now so you can prepare yourself. This team is not going to be good next year. We don’t have a lot cap space this summer and Kristaps will have major training wheels on. It wouldn’t surprise me if they sit him until February. No need to risk him coming back early for a season that may not even matter. The move is to continue to develop young talent and clear up cap space for the summer of 2019.
Now, all we need is a coach. My first call is to Former Grizzlies coach David Fizdale. It looks like the Knicks and I are on the same page because there is mutual interest. Woj also said that Mark Jackson, David Blatt, and Jerry Stackhouse will be in the running. All I will say is this. This new coaching hire has to work. There is no room for error. It has to be a home run.
Your move, Knicks.