Nothing has wavered -- at least not publicly -- since last night. The Knicks intend to hire Jeff Hornacek as head coach, Jeff Hornacek intends to take the job, and the only thing left to do is iron out a contract. The people reporting these things sound confident the hire is a foregone conclusion. (Foregone conclusions don't always go forth, but ... yeah. This does feel done.)
So we wait. (And other candidates go take other jobs.) In the meantime, here are some good things to read that I haven't put on our little website here already.
"For as long as I've known Jeff, he's been more on the quiet side, but a high character guy, a leader by example who will represent your franchise really well," said Jerry Colangelo, who drafted Hornacek out of Iowa State in 1986 for the Phoenix Suns with the next-to-last pick in the second round.
It is the longstanding relationship between Colangelo and Hornacek that tangentially connects to Jackson, the Knicks' team president, whose coaching search had become a Where's Waldo mystery based on his clandestine wanderings while reaching out to a small sampling of candidates.
There's some cool Hornacek history in there, although I'm not any more inclined to see those as basis for his hiring than I am to assume Phil Jackson met with Hornacek, got a winning impression, decided he was the right man for the job, and that was it. Perhaps a bit of both, but positive job interviews don't *have* to emerge from some misty backstory.
On that note, here's Howard Beck of Bleacher Report, who's been all over this:
What Jackson values most—in both players and coaches—is an intellectual heft, an ability to think the game, and in Hornacek, he saw an analytical mind whose basketball values are in line with his.
"Intellectual capacity matters," said one person with insight into Jackson's decision—and now, more than ever, in an NBA shaped by advanced statistics, player-tracking technology and sports science.
Though Rambis was widely viewed as the favorite (including by many within the Knicks organization), team officials were leaning toward Blatt, until Hornacek won the job with his interview, with the intellect, creativity and flexibility Jackson sought.
And from Ken Berger of CBS, who also presents the clearest case that Hornacek got boned repeatedly by the Suns:
And one Jackson confidant made something perfectly clear on Thursday, telling CBS Sports that the idea of hiring Hornacek was Jackson's move -- and that it has only further emboldened Jackson to stay the course and finish the job of fixing the Knicks.
"He's more committed than ever," the person said.
And hey! If you're a podcast listener, I bet this is good listening. Tell me what you hear!