Jeff Hornacek will be the new coach of the New York Knicks, a league source confirmed to ESPN’s Ian Begley.
The news was first reported by Bleacher Report.
No deal had been finalized as of Wednesday night, but the Knicks had informed others involved in their coaching search that they had decided on Hornacek, league sources said.
The Knicks and team president Phil Jackson interviewed Hornacek, a former Phoenix Suns coach, earlier this week, league sources previously told ESPN’s Marc Stein.
Hornacek was fired by the Suns in February after the team lost 19 of 21 games and 14 straight on the road. Phoenix began the season with playoff aspirations after posting records of 48-34 and 39-43 in Hornacek’s first two seasons but had a 14-35 record and had fallen into 13th place in the 15-team West when the Suns cut ties with him.
Hornacek was one of four known candidates for the Knicks position, which opened when the team fired Derek Fisher in February. New York interim coach Kurt Rambis had received strong consideration for the post since the regular season ended, with backing from Jackson. ESPN.com reported last month that former Cleveland Cavaliers coach David Blatt was the first external candidate to emerge as a serious contender for the post, and the New York Daily News first reported earlier this week that former Indiana Pacers coach Frank Vogel discussed the job with Jackson last week.
Hornacek had interviewed for a number of openings over the past month-plus. Sources previously told Stein that Hornacek would be at or near the top of Golden State‘s list in the Warriors’ search for a new lead assistant coach at season’s end if he was still available after Luke Walton leaves to become head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers.
Hornacek’s only NBA head-coaching experience is his two-plus-season stint with the Suns. He also spent three seasons as an assistant coach with the Utah Jazz.
He spent the first six years of his 15-year NBA playing career with the Suns, making his only All-Star Game in 1992. He played for the Jazz teams that made the NBA Finals in 1996-97 and ’97-98, losing to the Chicago Bulls each time.