This season has been another filled with disappointment for the New York Knicks. After supposedly improving their roster last summer and surrounding forwards Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis with solid role players such as Derrick Rose and Courtney Lee, this season has been nothing short of a disaster.
While there have been plenty of reasons why the Knicks haven’t performed well this season including the cloudy futures of Anthony and Rose, the discord between head coach Jeff Hornacek and his players may have had the biggest impact. It’s been well-documented that he and his players are frequently not on the same page and the relationship is seemingly continuing to worsen, as recent reports indicate players have tuned out the coach completely. Despite the disappointing season and obvious tension between the two parties, Hornacek is expected to remain the head coach in New York going forward. Following from Marc Berman of the New York Post:
Despite the Knicks’ 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.
The decision to move forward with Jeff Hornacek at the helm seems to be one that doesn’t make sense considering the Knicks’ lack of wins this season. However, Berman goes on to explain the choice may not be based off how well the team performs on the court:
When Jackson fired Derek Fisher in February 2016, during the coach’s second season, it was not because of a poor win-loss record. Sources insist Fisher was dismissed because of his lack of communication with Jackson, failing to respond to Jackson’s emails promptly and a passive-aggressive resistance to Jackson being involved with coaching aspects.
Hornacek, according to an NBA source, gets high grades on both counts — maintaining a strong rapport with Jackson and associate head coach Kurt Rambis, Jackson’s longtime compatriot.
Knowing Phil Jackson has his fingerprints all over the decision to retain Jeff Hornacek should come as no surprise as the Zen Master seems hellbent on turning the Knicks into his triangle offense-friendly team. With a big offseason looming for the Knicks, it appears they know who their head coach is set to be moving forward.