Utah Jazz legend Jeff Hornacek reportedly had some harsh words for Kristaps Porzingis

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 29: Head Coach Jeff Hornacek of the New York Knicks talks with Kristaps Porzingis (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 29: Head Coach Jeff Hornacek of the New York Knicks talks with Kristaps Porzingis (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Former Utah Jazz star Jeff Hornacek is rumored to have said some harsh words about New York Knicks big man Kristaps Porzingis.

When looking across the NBA at teams that are considered a model of consistency and well-run organizations, squads like the San Antonio Spurs, Golden State Warriors and Miami Heat often come to mind. The New York Knicks, on the other hand, are a team that would certainly fall on the entirely opposite end of the spectrum.

The Knicks organization has had more problems in the past decade and a half or so than I care to elaborate on. With problems all throughout Knicks brass, it’s no surprise that they’ve been one of the laughing stocks of the NBA for several seasons.

One of the more recent stories that surfaced regarding the Knicks came at the conclusion of the 2016-17 NBA season when rising star Kristaps Porzingis opted to completely skip out on his exit interview and blow it off without informing the team beforehand. Many assumed that the frustration had arisen primarily because of issues with the team’s former president Phil Jackson (who was fired this offseason) and such could very well be the case.

However, according to recent reports, Porzingis’ beef with the Knicks could have also extended beyond Jackson to additionally include his head coach, and Utah Jazz fan favorite, Jeff Hornacek.

According to NBA writer Peter Vecsey of Patreon.com, Hornacek had some harsh words regarding Porzingis which included stating to teammate Willy Hernangomez that Kristaps needed to “stop playing like a pu**y.” This subsequently and understandably rubbed Porzingis the wrong way and the grudge he held for the statement ultimately led to him opting to completely pass on attending his exit interview.

Many have commented that the worst part of the alleged comment is that Hornacek said it to Hernangomez instead of addressing it with Porzingis himself. Either way, it’s interesting to learn that the issues with the Knicks could very well extend to a dispute between arguably the team’s best player and the head coach, further adding to the list of challenges facing the organization.

While some may take issue to what Hornacek reportedly said about one of his players, in some ways it’s not all that surprising considering how hard-nosed and brutally honest of a coach Hornacek developed under as a member of the Utah Jazz.

Nevertheless, while this news surfacing may cause further anxiety among Knicks fans about their coach, it’s hard to see it resulting in many Jazz fans losing respect for Hornacek. Given that he was once one of Utah’s key players on the most successful team in franchise history, it would likely take more than an inappropriate comment to make Hornacek fall from grace in the eyes of Jazz fans.

Still, that doesn’t change the fact that he may have very well caused deeper problems in the New York Knicks locker room and, given that Hornacek was already considered by many to be on the hot seat, this development certainly doesn’t help his case.

Hornacek’s Knicks have a long ways to go before they’re any sort of threat in the league and if the turmoil between players, the front office and apparently the coaching staff continues, the road back to competitiveness could be an extremely long one.

And it might be one that the former Jazz fan favorite isn’t around to witness.

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Although as a lifelong Jazz fan, I want nothing but the best for one of my all-time favorite players to don a Jazz uniform, I have a feeling that Hornacek’s coaching success may not ultimately be found in New York.