A few points on why Jeff Hornacek is a good hire for the New York Knicks.
I still haven’t totally wrapped my head around this move, but I’ll attempt to piece my thoughts together as I write this blog.
First thought? Not Rambis! Holy Shit! We’re not hiring Kurt Rambis! Oh my good sweet god thanks you jesus all glory to the big man HOLY FUCKING SHIT YES YES FUCKING YES IT’S NOT KURT RAMBIS!!!
Second thought? Not Vogel. Okay… Kind of a bummer. Vogel should have been the guy. He was a more attainable version of Thibs, the solid 7 at a bar when you realize that 9 won’t even let you buy her a drink. Once we all came to grips with the fact that Thibs was never coming, Vogel presented a slightly less appealing, yet still very attractive alternative. He was the upper-middle class man’s Thibs. The backup plan that most teams would kill for. He was out there, he was very attainable, and I truly think he would’ve been the best coach for this team.
But he won’t be. And neither will David Blatt, who I actually would have been more than fine with, even considering the blatant lack of respect Melo would show him after what his brother Lebron did to Blatt in Cleveland. And yes, neither will that bumbling, twitter-porn-searching, rookie-limiting, Sasha-Vujacic-Jose-Calderon-extended-minutes-playing, perpetually-hungover-looking, TWENTY-ONE-PERCENT-CAREER-WINNING-PECENTAGE fucking IDIOT Kurt Rambis.
It’s (apparently) going to be Jeff Hornacek.
And you know what… fuck it, I’m in.
Outside of the obvious not-Kurt-Rambis positives, there’s things to like about old Horn Dog…
One… the nicknames. The Daily News and The Post wasted no time getting to work on that
Two… he doesn’t run the triangle. Again, HE DOESN’T RUN THE TRIANGLE. He never has, and from all accounts so far, he won’t be required to run it. He runs a modern offense. An offense perfectly suited to put Kristaps at the five and Melo at the four surrounded by shooters (Where do we get those shooters? Who knows. But the framework of a KP-Melo frontcourt is a great starting point). That’s the offense we should be running. High pick and roll. Leave the paint and elbows open. Shoot corner threes. Get the rebound defensively and get up the court.
And these two stats, from Chris Herring’s (who is better at his job than Frank Isola ever was at anything in his life) quick write up on Hornacek’s up-tempo, three-point-heavy offense, are extremely encouraging signs for a team that has ranked first in long 2’s and last in fast break points over the last two years.
In a single season, from 2012 under coaches Alvin Gentry and Lindsey Hunter to 2013 with Hornacek, the Suns went from No. 25 to No. 5 in 3-point attempt rate. They went from a league-average 13.5 points a game in fastbreak scenarios to a league-best 18.7. And they jumped from 29th in offensive efficiency to eighth.
Three… these Action Bronson bars…
You drop your pants to your ankles
At the urinal at the ballgame
I’m on the stool getting brain
From a tall dame, cause I’m 5’8”
Shorty like 6’2”
Feed her coke, locked jaw
Like a pitbull. I was born to rep
You fucking with a hornet’s nest
Old shooters in the corner like Hornacek
Four… Horn Dog has been through some shit. I mean, we are talking about a dude who was runner up for coach of the year just two seasons ago. He took a Phoenix team destined for the lottery and won 48 games, and did it with a weird, roster that never should have competed in the Western Conference. Last year his three best players were all starting point guards who needed the ball in their hands, and he he still figured out how to make it work to win 39 games in, again, a very tough Western Conference. This year? Things fell apart. 14-35, fired before the All-Star Break, tough to defend that. But then again, his best player did go down in December. And his second/third best player was a mentally unstable twin who stopped competing after the front office traded away the other twin in the most deceitful, back-stabby way possible. And the roster was stripped pretty dry after getting back mostly picks for Dragic and Thomas. And Devin Booker was still a painfully young rookie who hadn’t found his comfort level in the league yet. And the Suns notoriously weird front office didn’t really do him any help outside of signing over-the-hill-and-two-miles-past-the-mountain Tyson Chandler.
Phoenix was a weird two and a half years for Horn Dog. I don’t know if anyone could really succeed long-term given the hand he was dealt. If anything, he’ll learn from that time and maybe have a new perspective coming into this next job.
And while we’re here, don’t forget that Horn Dog was a part of two great teams in the early-90’s Suns and late-90’s Jazz that just… well they just came along in the wrong era. I’m not saying he’s Steve Kerr, but he did play under an All-Time Coach in Jerry Sloan, and he does have the experience of knowing what it’s like to be a role player on some great teams. Maybe he doesn’t have Kerr’s resume. And maybe he’s not going to be coaching Steph Curry. But is Kristaps really any different from Steph??? HUH???????
And Fifth… and probably most importantly… Jeff Hornacek’s daughter Abby is one of the hottest chicks I’ve ever seen… like, ever. Dear lord…
(I see you too Mama Horn)
So you know what… I’m in. I’ve totally talked myself into this hire. No Rambis. Abby Hornacek. No Triangle. Abby Hornacek. A modern, creative offense. Abby Hornacek. KP-Melo at the 5 and 4. Abby Hornacek. Action Bronson lyrics. Abby Hornacek. Abby Hornacek. Abby Hornacek. And more Abby Hornacek.
And finally, if this hire shows anything, it’s that Phil has (maybe) finally (potentially) decided to swallow his Triangle Pride. I’m not gonna count my chickens yet… but this is a good first step.
Welcome aboard Abby… Oh and you too Jeff… but mostly Abby.
P.S. Abby Hornacek? Meet Kristaps Porzingis.