Jeff Hornacek on Phil Jackson firing: ‘It’s a tough day for us’
New York Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek declined to answer questions amid the shocking — but arguably logical — departure of team president Phil Jackson. But he did read a prepared statement to the media from the team’s first summer-league practice in Orlando, Fla.
“It’s always an interesting time when stuff like that happens,’’ Hornacek said, via the New York Post. “I just want to thank Phil for giving me the opportunity here in New York. I worked with [general manager] Steve [Mills] all year long. We had a great working relationship and talking about things. We’ll continue to do that.
“I wish Phil the best from this point on. It’s a tough day for us, but our focus is to get this team better, continue to build our young players and figure out a way to win. We have a lot of time before the regular season to figure that out.”
When pressed with additional questions, Hornacek said, “That’s all I’m going to say.”
The Knicks announced Jackson’s ouster via a statement issued Wednesday morning.
The Knicks officially announce that they have parted ways with team president Phil Jackson: pic.twitter.com/c9MUM6NhMf
— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) June 28, 2017
Jackson’s three-plus-year tenure as Knicks boss was an unmitigated disaster and abject failure. No move — outside of selecting Kristaps Porzingis, whom Jackson reportedly contemplated trading — appeared to pan out, highlighted by the acquisitions of Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah. Jackson’s public and arguably embarrassing feud with Carmelo Anthony certainly didn’t portray him the best light, either.
Jackson allegedly even fell in and out of sleep during the workout of a prospect ahead of the 2017 NBA Draft as well, hardly a way to pain a compelling picture of competence and commitment.
In the end, the Phil Jackson Era is over. And the notion that the Zen Master reportedly is laughing all the way to the bank certainly doesn’t help matters, either. Nor is it encouraging that Jackson was paid approximately $50,000 per day, according to the terms of his contract, to leave the team in such an utter disarray.
Same old perpetually dysfunctional Knicks.