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Former Knicks Head Coach Jeff Hornacek Returns to Utah

Hornacek will return to familiar professional settings.

It's probably not the New York Knicks/Utah Jazz transaction many in Manhattan were hoping for, but it's here nonetheless.

Utah finalized its new coaching staff under first-year man Will Hardy on Thursday, one that includes former Knicks boss Jeff Hornacek as a "coaching consultant." He'll help lead the Jazz into the post-Donovan Mitchell era, joining assistants Bryan Bailey, Alex Jensen, and Lamar Skeeter.

Hornacek, 59, has a plethora of basketball experience to draw upon. A good part of it, appropriately, has been staged in Salt Lake City, where Hornacek spent the final six seasons of a 15-year playing career, partaking in two runs to the NBA Finals. His No. 14 has been permanently retired by the Jazz, one of seven players to earn the honor. 

On the bench, Hornacek is perhaps most renowned for guiding a young Phoenix Suns to a 48-34 in his debut season in 2013-14. Phoenix nonetheless missed the playoffs due to a competitive Western Conference, as they would've held a top-four seed in a weak East. Hornacek took the helm of the Knicks in 2016 and spent two seasons with the team. 

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His first got off to a solid start at 16-13 before they fell to a 31-51 record. Things deteriorated further in his latter year, as the trade of Carmelo Anthony doomed the team to only 29 wins. Hornacek was fired in the ensuing offseason and has since held an assistant coach's role in Houston (2020-22). 

New York and Utah will do battle twice this season, the first being a nationally televised matchup in Salt Lake City on Nov. 15. 

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags