The New York Knicks fired head coach Jeff Hornacek early Thursday morning, something most people around the NBA expected. Sadly, for Knicks fans, this is just one more offseason where uncertainty will reign and there is, at this moment, little hope the franchise will begin to turn things around.
Since the 2001-2002 season, the Knicks have cycled through 11 different head coaches and have exactly seven playoff wins during that span. It should be noted that all seven of those playoff wins came under the immortal Mike Woodson during the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons. They have won exactly one playoff series since the 2001-02 season.
The Knicks have been searching for stability since Jeff Van Gundy resigned 19 games into the 2001-02 season. Coaches with extensive and successful track records have come and gone. So too have those without much on their coaching resume. The Knicks have not been able to find a winning formula for a myriad of reasons, none of which matters now. The Knicks’ future begins now and team president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry must make their mark on this team and find the perfect fit for this franchise.
However, why should fans have any confidence in the Knicks to find that right coach? They have had Hall of Famers in Larry Brown and Lenny Wilkens fail. Phil Jackson’s magic ran out and he went through three men at the position during his short and confusing tenure. Stability isn’t a word Knicks’ fans are familiar with anymore.
If Mills and Perry fail to find the right coach this time around it could doom the Knicks for another five or more years. Mills and Perry have to get this right as they try to erase the Phil Jackson era once and for all from Madison Square Garden. As history has shown, it isn’t easy to turn this franchise around regardless of who the players are, who is in the front office, and who is head coach. Knicks’ fans can only hope this time it works out.