Inside the court basketball arena, players and coaches alike view their opponents as foes they want to beat to a pulp. Yet outside its confines, they view each other as worthy confidantes. The recent comments of Charlotte Hornets head coach Steve Clifford is a testament to this fact. As reported by Ian Begley of ESPN, Steve Clifford called New York Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek a “terrific coach”:
Steve Clifford on Jeff Hornacek: “He’s a very good coach. He’s done a good job. You can’t lose (Kristaps) Porzingis and then, to me, start judging the coach.” I understand Clifford’s point re: injuries & think NYK will take that into account when evaluating Hornacek at year’s end pic.twitter.com/Y75k8QmXQC
— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) March 20, 2018
Jeff Hornacek and the Knicks are currently 26-45 for 11th place in the Eastern Conference. It's a disappointing record for a franchise that's been itching to get back to their winning ways. The Knicks felt that this might be their season to make it back to the playoffs. Yet earlier this year, their star player Kristaps Porzingis tore his ACL. This brought the hopes down of Knicks fans.
Though it's not entirely Hornacek's fault, a head coach's head is always on the guillotine. Clifford may have been all praises for Hornacek. But for the Knicks coach, he knows that there are no guarantees unless you rack up some wins:
As reported by Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News, Hornack said:
“At the end of the season I’m sure we’ll sit down with (president Steve Mills and GM Scott Perry) and figure out what we’re doing,” said Hornacek. “As a coach you’d like to know if you’re going to be here next year. But our job right now is take the guys that we have on this team and try to get them better.”
“When you hate to lose, you’ll do anything it takes. Whether it’s taking a charge, diving on a ball, taking no play for granted. When you love to win and you don’t it’s like, ‘OK, well maybe we’ll win the next game.’”