Jeff Hornacek’s two-year stint as the New York Knicks’ coach is over, with the team announcing his dismissal on Thursday morning.
“Jeff is a true professional who has worked tirelessly for this organization the last two seasons,” a statement from the front office read. “We sincerely appreciate his efforts and considerable contributions to the team and wish him well in his future endeavors.”
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Knicks informed Hornacek, an Iowa State alumnus, that he was fired once they returned to suburban New York after beating the playoff-bound Cavaliers 108-95 in Cleveland on Wednesday night in the regular-season finale.
His top assistant, Kurt Rambis, was also fired.
The Knicks went 29-53 this season after finishing 31-51 in Hornacek’s first year on the job. They are out of the playoffs for the fifth consecutive season, and own just one playoff series victory in the past 18 years.
The decision to fire Hornacek was made by Knicks president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry, according to Wojnarowski. Both Mills and Perry have been in their current roles since last July.
Hornacek was hired by the team’s previous president, Phil Jackson, who parted ways with the club in June 2017 following a disastrous three years on the job.
Counting his time as the Phoenix Suns’ head coach from 2013-14 to the middle of the 2015-16 season, Hornacek has a career 161-216 record. He has never led a club to the postseason.
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Iowa State’s career assists and steals leader, Hornacek played for the Cyclones from 1982-86. He then played 14 seasons in the NBA with Phoenix, Philadelphia and Utah.
Wojnarowski reported that candidates to replace Hornacek include ex-Memphis Grizzlies coach David Fizdale, ex-Cleveland Cavaliers coach David Blatt and ex-Golden State Warriors coach Mark Jackson.
Fred Hoiberg, another Iowa State alumnus in the NBA coaching ranks, will still be the head coach of the Chicago Bulls next season, President of Basketball Operations John Paxson told reporters Thursday. Hoiberg, Iowa State's coach from 2010-15, is 110-136 in three seasons with the Bulls, including 27-55 this season.