The Knicks’ coaching search has started to pick up some steam.
Team president Phil Jackson interviewed former Suns coach Jeff Hornacek for the opening Monday, a league source confirmed. Jackson and general manager Steve Mills met with former Pacers coach Frank Vogel last week.
Jackson has also interviewed ex-Cavaliers coach David Blatt. Knicks interim coach Kurt Rambis remains a candidate.
Hornacek was 101-112 in 2½ seasons with the Suns. He finished runner-up to the Spurs’ Gregg Popovich in the 2013-14 coach of the year voting after guiding Phoenix to a 48-34 record. Hornacek was let go in February with the injury-riddled Suns stumbling at 14-35.
A former shooting guard, Hornacek helped the Jazz reach back-to-back NBA Finals — losing both times to Jackson’s Bulls. Hornacek spent three seasons as a Jazz assistant before the Suns hired him in 2013.
ESPN.com first reported that the Knicks interviewed Hornacek, who reportedly has received interest from the Magic, Grizzlies and Rockets. Vogel and Blatt also are said to be in the mix in for the jobs with the Grizzlies and Rockets.
Jackson has come under criticism for a recent vacation while the Knicks still don’t have a head coach. Carmelo Anthony has gone on record as saying he wants Jackson to have an open coaching search. Until the last several days, Jackson had only spoken to Rambis and Blatt, and had a phone conversation with Luke Walton, who took the Lakers’ coaching job.
The Knicks never interviewed Tom Thibodeau before he was hired as president and head coach of the Timberwolves, or Scott Brooks, who is the new Wizards’ coach.
Rambis has long been considered the leading candidate for the job because of his relationship with Jackson and his knowledge of the triangle offense. Blatt, Vogel and Hornacek don’t run the triangle, but it’s possible that Jackson could hire one and make Rambis the associate head coach to be in charge of the offense.
Rambis, an assistant under Jackson with the Lakers, was the Knicks’ associate head coach under Derek Fisher. When he fired Fisher, Jackson promoted Rambis, who guided the Knicks to a 9-19 mark to end the season.