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Rumor: Knicks players still skeptical of Jeff Hornacek after he let Phil Jackson demand triangle

Rumor: Knicks players still skeptical of Jeff Hornacek after he let Phil Jackson demand triangle
Published On: Fri, Oct 13
Mar 27, 2015; New York, NY, USA; Vocal group the Four Tops with former NBA player Earl Monroe (purple tie) and New York Knicks president Phil Jackson and Walt Frazier and former NBA player Dick Barnett (right) acknowledge Walt Frazier for his 70th birthday during the game between the New York Knicks and the Boston Celtics at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Former Knicks president Phil Jackson hired Jeff Hornacek " who had no experience coaching the triangle offense " and forced the scheme on Hornacek at different points to varying degrees.

Players grumbled about Hornacek, as they tend to do on losing teams. Hornacek kept touting the triangle, appeasing his boss.

Now, Jackson is out, and Hornacek remains. The coach is seemingly free to implement the up-tempo system he used to better effect with the Suns.

But Hornacek isnt exactly working from a blank slate, as Ian Begley of ESPN explained on The Woj Pod.

Adrian Wojnarowski:

Was Hornacek compromised in the locker room last year because players thought he was just a puppet of Phil? He was running an offense that they knew he didnt want to run, that Phil was guiding a lot of his decision-making and that they thought maybe, Our coach isnt strong enough to stand up for what he believes in because " thats part of Phil hired him and puts him in a difficult position because of what he wants him to do and how he wants him to run things. He doesnt have to run the triangle anymore. He can run what he wants. Does that give him something in the locker room he didnt have a year ago?

Begley:

Ill say this, Woj: I cant speak for every player in there last year, but there were guys who shared those opinions the way you just laid it out. Just, because there was so much vacillation throughout the course of the season about, how much are we going to run the triangle? Is Jeff going to be able to open up, which he did early in the season? But then you look at around the All-Star break. They started running more triangle, and it was clearly Phils influence. So, players looked at that, and they saw Jeff as not having enough authority to kind of stand up and say, Hey, Phil, Im coaching the team. This is how I want to run the offense. This is what I want to do. I think if Jeff took that approach, he would have won this locker room over. But he didnt, and I think that hurt him. So, that doesnt go away " right? " just because Phil is not here. I think that impression, just from the few guys who shared it with me, I think is still there. I think Jeff has to show himself to be his own man this year, and I think every opportunity is there for him to do that. But hes certainly under a microscope.

Read the complete news article here...


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