AP Source: Knicks fire coach Jeff Hornacek after 2 seasons

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AP Source: Knicks fire coach Jeff Hornacek after 2 seasons
New York Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek agues with referee Ron Garretson (10) during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Milwaukee Bucks, Saturday, April 7, 2018, at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Knicks have fired coach Jeff Hornacek after two seasons, a person with knowledge of the decision said early Thursday.

The Knicks made the decision after beating Cleveland on Wednesday night to finish a 29-53 season. They lost more than 50 games and missed the playoffs both seasons under Hornacek.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because an official announcement isn’t planned until later in the day.

The firing was first reported by ESPN.

Hornacek was hired in 2016 by Phil Jackson and lasted just one more season after Jackson and the team parted ways last summer. President Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry apparently weren’t pleased with the results, though they knew the Knicks were rebuilding with younger players.

Hornacek went 60-104 and had a year left on his contract. He became the first coaching change after the NBA regular season completed, sending the Knicks on yet another coaching search.

Hornacek, previously a head coach for three years in Phoenix, himself was even surprised when he became Jackson’s choice, since they had little relationship other than facing off in the NBA Finals when Hornacek played for Utah against the Jackson’s Chicago Bulls.

Jackson said Hornacek would be allowed to run whatever offense he wanted and not required to implement the triangle Jackson used as a coach. But he shifted gears during Hornacek’s first season, and the team returned to the triangle with poor results.

Hornacek opened up the offense after Jackson’s departure and the Knicks started surprisingly well this season. But they tailed off toward the middle of the season and then completely collapsed late after All-Star Kristaps Porzingis tore his ACL on Feb. 6.

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