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Jazz Hiring Jeff Hornacek May Signal PR Damage Control

What was the Utah Jazz's true motivation for hiring Jeff Hornacek?

Newly-acquired consultant coach Jeff Hornacek will assist Utah Jazz head coach Will Hardy during the 2022-23 NBA season. Hiring Hornacek might be a welcome sight to Jazz Nation but may provide additional confusion on the franchise's direction.

Many fans will remember Hornacek as a former Jazzman who played with John Stockton and Karl Malone. Hornacek was an integral piece of those late 1990s Jazz teams that competed for NBA championships against Michael Jordan and the mighty Chicago Bulls in two straight Finals series. 

Once retired, Hornacek continued his NBA journey as the head coach of the Phoenix Suns from 2013-16. He then coached the New York Knicks from 2016-18, with his most recent employment being as an assistant with the Houston Rockets.

Hornacek is solid as a rock no matter what NBA tasks require his services, and his presence will most certainly calm the shaky ground that currently exists within the Jazz organization. What may intrigue Jazz Nation is the actual sincerity of the Hornacek hire. 

Was the hiring facilitated to assist with public relations damage control?

Jazz executive Danny Ainge has made it quite clear he wants to create a completely new era of Jazz basketball. The off-season trades headlined by Rudy Gobert, Donovan Mitchell, and other former Jazzmen paved a solid path regarding Ainge's future plans. 

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Current Jazz players Mike Conley and Jordan Clarkson are associated with constant trade conversations, and they're the final main pieces of the pre-Ainge Jazz still standing in Utah.

Hornacek is undoubtedly associated with all facets of the pre-Ainge Jazz and is old school through and through. It seems his role will be as a coaching consultant to Hardy. 

I'm not sure why a brand-new head coach who's been mentored by Greg Popovich since 2010 would need a coaching consultant, let alone one of Hornacek's caliber. Head coaches should lead teams to the best of their abilities without a crutch.

However, Jazz Nation should be delighted with the Hornacek hire, which marks possibly the best off-season acquisition to date.

Only time will tell whether the hire is damage control or one made with true sincerity.


Follow James on Twitter @jlewNBA.

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