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The final installment of Phil Jackson’s series of interviews with Charley Rosen was published Friday on Today’s Fastbreak, and it’s all about Jeff Hornacek. The New York Knicks president praised his relatively recent hire in many ways and revealed something surprising: former interim coach Kurt Rambis apparently recommended Hornacek for the job.

“It was Kurt Rambis who first suggested Jeff. They had played together in Phoenix for several seasons so Kurt had a good read on Jeff. The Suns’ coach was Cotton Fitzsimmons who had been an assistant at Kansas State under Tex Winter. So Cotton knew the triangle, ran pieces of it and believed in system basketball. It was there that Jeff teamed up with Kevin Johnson in a two-guard offense, which is how the triangle is formatted.”

Jeff Hornacek at MSGJeff Hornacek at Madison Square Garden. USATSI

You’ll recall that, just days before the Hornacek hire, reports indicated that Jackson wanted to keep Rambis as the full-time head coach. It’s unclear how close that was to happening, but at the very least Rambis was a candidate. This news, then, is a little surprising. Is it possible that Rambis would have the job if he hadn’t brought up Hornacek’s name? Maybe!

Rambis, by the way, is expected to be on Hornacek’s staff as an assistant coach. New York still has not officially announced its coaching staff.


Source: CBS Sports Headlines / Knicks president Phil Jackson says Kurt Rambis recommended Jeff Hornacek