Knicks fans around the world are still trying to wrap our heads around the surprise hiring of Jeff Hornacek. But what about the thoughts of those who will actually play basketball under the new head coach ... like, say, Carmelo Anthony?
It would seem that the longest-tenured Knickerbocker is fully on board with the hiring. In an interview with WNBC-TV's Bruce Beck, Melo said the new Hornacek regime could spark a turnaround in the team's fortunes. Per Ian Begley:
"It sets the stage for us to do that," Anthony said. "[It's a] new opportunity, something new to play with, something fresh, a clean plate. So hopefully we can build off of this momentum."
Does Melo find anything particularly appealing in Hornacek's coaching style? He sure does! It's all about that pace.
"I played against him a couple of times when he was the head coach out there in Phoenix. Everybody knows he likes to play an up-tempo pace of game, likes to get out in transition, likes to speed the game up a lot. So from that standpoint I'll definitely be looking forward to that."
Melo will never be confused with Russell Westbrook in terms of blazing down the court for fast-break buckets, but I'd wager he sees the value in some of his teammates getting a few easy points ... not to mention a few open three-point looks for himself as a trailer.
Naturally, Melo made sure to give Phil Jackson sole credit for starting the Hornacek Revolution:
Carmelo Anthony- did u influence Phil Jackson to move from triangle to an up-tempo offense? "Whatever Phil did, he did on his own!"— Bruce Beck (@BruceBeck4NY) May 22, 2016
There have been rumblings that Phil has given Hornacek carte blanche to alter the much-debated Triangle, so you can count Melo among those in the "speed it up" camp. Of course, there's no rule which says you can't run Triangle and speed up your offense at the same time, but I don't want to jump back into that divisive philosophical debate.
Melo feels the need ... the need for speed!