Hornacek: Knicks 'not far off' from being competitive
To say it's been a chaotic season for the New York Knicks would be a vast understatement.
From finally divorcing with Phil Jackson last summer, to franchise foundation Kristaps Porzingis' torn ACL, the Joakim Noah's reported physical confrontation with coach Jeff Hornacek and his dead-weight, untradeable and the questionable $70 million deal given to Tim Hardaway Jr. last summer, the Knicks have all the appearances of a Dumpster fire.
Despite a 27-49 record, including seven losses in their last 10 games entering playing Friday night, Hornacek believes New York is much closer to being a competitive squad than most signs indicate.
“Again, if you look at down the road, I don’t think we’re that far off," he told Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News. "You have a cornerstone star in K.P., you have some other really good players already on the team."
Hornacek, a solid player during his days as a Phoenix Sun, points to a Western Conference team as an example of how things can be turned around.
"You can look at Minnesota for an example," he said. "They had great players in (Karl-Anthony) Towns and (Andrew) Wiggins, top picks in the draft. And where were they?
"And then all of a sudden you add (Jimmy) Butler, and (Taj) Gibson and a couple veterans, and now all of a sudden they’re really good. So sometimes it’s just that one or two pieces that kind of ties everything together. …I don’t think it’s a five-, six-year process.”
Odds are, though, Hornacek might not be around long enough to see some type of resurrection take place.
The NBA rumor mill has had names such as Doc Rivers and Mark Jackson emerging as candidates likely to be considered, should the Knicks opt to part ways with Hornacek.
“And what we were able to do without (Porzingis) this year getting a lot of guys experience, they see the pieces and sometimes that’s all it takes is one guy, one year and then another guy another year, and then you’re alright," Hornacek said. "So I think that’s the selling point. …You see what our point guards are starting to do. Tim (Hardaway Jr.) has been a starter for a full year. As a free agent, you look at, can I make difference? And I think guys can say that.”