Report: Knicks set to hire former Phoenix Suns man as head coach

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The New York Knicks are on the verge of bringing their search for a new head coach to a close, reports today claim.

According to Bleacher Report's Howard Beck, citing an "NBA source", the Big Apple franchise is set to hire former Phoenix Suns HC Jeff Hornacek.

Hornacek was one of four main candidates for the Knicks job and appears set to be chosen ahead of Frank Vogel, David Blatt and long-time bookmakers favourite Kurt Rambis.

It was only over the weekend that reports revealed the 53-year-old had interviewed with Phil Jackson for the vacancy, but clearly he impressed the Knicks president.

Hornacek was fired by the Phoenix Suns in February this year with the Western Conference franchise languishing on a 14-35 record. Before this season, however, he had impressed in his first head coaching role.

Although he never took the Suns to a playoff spot, he did turn around a 25-57 team into a 48-34 in his first year in charge - his impact recognised as he was named runner-up for the 2013-14 NBA Coach of the Year award.

The Illinois native was also credited with implementing an up-tempo style of basketball in Phoenix that could well suit a Knicks roster led by Kristaps Porzingis and Carmelo Anthony.

His head coaching record currently stands at 101-112.

The franchise themselves are yet to confirm any such hire, but, if it is confirmed in the near future, it would mark a change of tact from Jackson. 

Previously it had been expected the former Lakers and Bulls head coach would hire someone from within his 'inner circle', likely with a history of playing the triangle offense.

Such speculation had made Rambis - who had served as interim coach since Derek Fisher's departure - the favourite. A Hornacek hire would fit neither of those apparent pre-requisites, but would likely be a more popular decision that the hiring of Rambis on a full-time basis.

Beck went on to note that, although the deal is not officially in place to hire Hornacek, it "is as close as humanly possible", and an official announcement is expected in the near future.

Like when he first took charge in Phoenix, Hornacek will have a task on his hands to turn around a franchise coming off the back of a poor season.

The Knicks finished 13th in the Eastern Conference this year with a 32-50 record and haven't had a winning season since the 2012-13 campaign.

New York Knicks
Atlantic Division
Eastern Conference
Phoenix Suns
Pacific Division
Western Conference
Carmelo Anthony

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