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Beck: The Knicks will hire Jeff Hornacek as head coach

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Well, this isn't totally out of nowhere, but it's still a surprise:

We knew Hornacek got an interview, and we knew from Beck a while ago that Phil Jackson liked him, but because he's neither a former Phil co-worker nor a friend of Steve Mills, he doesn't come close to fitting what we were told to expect from this coaching search. As Chris Herring explained earlier this week, Hornacek's spread-floor, pick-and-roll-heavy, fast-breaking style bears far less resemblance to the Triangle than the offenses preferred by, say, Frank Vogel or David Blatt (or, of course, Kurt Rambis), so it'll be fascinating to see how this partnership works.

Hornacek comes to New York a half-season after the Suns fired him, which came just two seasons after he was Coach of the Year runner-up with a 48-34 record (but no playoff appearance) in his first season. After that, injuries piled up, the young roster changed and then seemed to rebel, Hornacek's assistants got fired, and eventually so did he. He's got prior experience as an assistant in Utah and Philadelphia, and he once destroyed me in ping-pong.

Immediate questions bubbling to mind in my state of excitement and surprise: What does Melo think of this? What becomes of Kurt Rambis? Lead assistant? "Defensive coordinator"? Executive? How about the rest of Hornacek's staff? What does a system coached by Hornacek and overseen by Phil look like? It's all unknown, and frankly pretty exciting. Hornacek seems to me like a very good coach, just not at all the one I expected.

In closing: Leaks about Phil Jackson's are to be ignored 99% of the time. Forever and always.

Truly in closing: Kurt Rambis is not head coach of the Knicks. Thank the lord. Any lord. Pick a lord and thank that lord.

Update: I trust Beck completely, but note that other reporters insist a deal is not done:

If you want pictures, here are some pictures: