Knicks reportedly fire coach Jeff Hornacek: New candidates include Fizdale, Blatt, Jackson
Jeff Hornacek was hoping to convince New York Knicks brass that he deserved another season as the team’s head coach during Thursday’s exit meetings. Apparently, he won’t get that chance.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Knicks fired Hornacek after two seasons as the team’s coach upon the team’s return to New York after the season finale Wednesday. The Knicks won 110-98 in Cleveland in Hornacek’s final game, with President Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry delivering the news afterward.
The Knicks finished this season at 29-53, going 5-20 after the season-ending knee injury to Kristaps Porzingis. They have the ninth-best chance to win the lottery (). Overall, Hornacek was 60-104 during his tenure in New York.
Wojnarowski also reported that former Memphis Grizzlies coach David Fizdale, former Cleveland Cavaliers coach David Blatt, former Golden State coach Mark Jackson and Jerry Stackhouse, coach of the G League Raptors 905, will all be considered for the vacancy. Jackson played five seasons with the Knicks to begin his career, and returned for 29 games during the 2000-01 season.
The Knicks haven’t made the postseason since 2013, and have one playoff series win in the past 18 years. They appeared to be making strides early in the season, hovering around .500 for the first two months or so, but the team went into a spiral when Porzingis went down.
Outside of Porzingis and possibly Frank Ntilikina, who is still 19 years old, the Knicks don’t have much young talent. Whichever coach takes over for Hornacek is going to face an uphill battle, and will have to make due with slightly above average NBA players like Tim Hardaway Jr., Courtney Lee and Enes Kanter (if he opts into his contract or re-signs with the Knicks), while Porzingis gets healthy.
The team is reportedly targeting the summer of 2019, when it expects to have enough cap space to sign a high-impact player to add to the roster.