“We are thrilled to introduce Jeff Hornacek as the new head coach of the Phoenix Suns,” said Suns General Manager Ryan McDonough. “Jeff has all of the qualities we were looking for in a head coach — he is a leader, a teacher and a student of the game. Jeff’s name has been high on our list ever since my first interview with the Suns. His successes as a player and as an assistant coach, along with his deep ties to this franchise and this community, give us confidence that he will do great things as the next head coach of the Phoenix Suns.”
Hornacek was the 22nd pick in the second round of the 1986 NBA Draft by the Suns. He played for Phoenix in the first six seasons of his 14-year NBA career. He made the 1992 All-Star Game as a member of the Suns during his best individual season in which he averaged 20.1 points, 5.1 assists and 5.0 rebounds. He shot 51.2 percent from the field and 43.9 percent from 3-point range that season. In 1992, Hornacek was traded as part of a three-player package to the Philadelphia 76ers for Charles Barkley.
Midway through the ’93-94 season, he was traded to the Utah Jazz where he could return to his natural shooting guard position. Hornacek was a perfect complementary “third option” to Karl Malone and John Stockton. Hornacek was also one of the best on offense in the NBA in moving without the ball, something essential for a shooting guard. He was an instrumental part of the Jazz’s drive to the NBA Finals in 1997 and ’98. They loss both runs to the Chicago Bulls. He retired in 2000 and took an assistant coaching job with the Jazz in 2007-08 to help with the team’s shooting. He became a full-time assistant coach with the Jazz in February 2011 after Jerry Sloan and Phil Johnson left the organization.
My Two-Cents: The Suns are the worst team in the Western Conference and the roster is abysmal. Goran Dragic and Marcin Gortat are average, but Gortat is looking at the door (free agent after the season). Shannon Brown is a veteran that you can work with but all in all, EVERY PLAYER can be traded if you ask me. I believe the organization will show some patience for Hornacek and that is a good sign.
At one time the Suns had a winning history (13 straight seasons from 1988-2001), but other than the spurts from 2005-2007 and the one in 2010, the Suns are invisible and are in desperate need of relevancy.
The team has nowhere to look but up right now and they need a coach that has the “glass half full” mentality; this will be a task and I think Hornacek is the right fit for the job.
*Jobs left open in the NBA Coaching Carousel:
-Los Angeles Clippers