During Friday’s loss to the Timberwolves, Hornacek got into it with another New York center – Kyle O'Quinn, who didn’t properly contest a Karl-Anthony Towns shot. After O’Quinn missed a couple shots and got roasted by Jamal Crawford, Hornacek and his player yelled at each other during a stoppage.
O’Quinn, via Marc Berman of the New York Post:
“I’ll be the first one to say my reaction was the wrong one,’’ O’Quinn said Sunday. “Someone yelled at me, I yelled back. Two wrongs don’t make a right.”
“I like that s–t,” he said. “It was heat of the moment, heat of the game. He’s a competitor, ex-player. I’m sure if he’s in that position, he would’ve done something different back in his day. I was fired up at the game. I felt it was a winnable game. They were going to let us dance a bit and we were going to be in it. It’s just a reaction. You know how I am on the floor — fiery.”
Hornacek, via Berman:
“We like guys who are fiery,’’ Hornacek said. “Kyle’s done a great job all year long with his activity and intensity.’’
Tempers sometimes flare like this, including on functional teams. People are just usually disciplined enough to avoid doing it in front of cameras. Wait until everyone is in a closed locker room or practice.
That Hornacek and O’Quinn didn’t speaks to how upset they were.
This could affect Hornacek’s reputation in particular. When the Suns fired him, they said players stopped responding to him. This is more circumstantial evidence his message wears thin on players over time.
Not that the Knicks will need that excuse. Hornacek’s dismal record – even though more a product of an underwhelming roster – will probably give president Steve Mills cover to fire the coach he inherited.