“The Last Dance” will show Jeff Hornacek as just another great player to get bested by Michael Jordan, but he really had a long and prosperous NBA career. Hornacek played 14 seasons in the NBA and averaged double digits in all but two of them. Although Jordan and the Bulls kept Hornacek and the Jazz from a title in 1998, the Jazz great should still be remembered as one of the best players of his generation. So, what is Hornacek up to in retirement?
Jeff Hornacek’s NBA career
Jeff Hornacek played for three NBA teams over his 14-year career. On “The Last Dance,” he’s featured as the starting shooting guard for the Jazz, but his career started in Phoenix with the Suns.
Hornacek was selected by the Suns in the second round of the 1986 NBA draft. He wasn’t a highly-rated prospect out of Iowa State, but it didn’t take him long to make his mark in the NBA. After just two years in Phoenix, Hornacek became the starting shooting guard in 1988.
He averaged 13.5 points per game and shot nearly 50 percent from the field in his first season as an everyday starter. Hornacek only improved from there. Hornacek scored over 15 points per game in seven straight seasons throughout the middle of his career.
After his time with the Suns, Hornacek spent a year and a half with the 76ers before being traded to the Jazz in 1994. He finished his career in Utah and retired from the NBA in 2000. He scored 15,659 points and notched 5,281 assists in his career.
Hornacek got into coaching in retirement
Hornacek spent some time away from the basketball court after retiring in 2000, but he got back to the game he loves in 2007. The former Jazz star returned to the team as a special assistant coach.
After three years behind the bench, Hornacek was promoted to assistant coach. He spent another three years in that role before finally becoming a head coach in the NBA. In 2013, Hornacek joined his other former team, the Suns, as their newest head coach.
Hornacek led Phoenix to a 48-34 record in his first season, but the team missed the playoffs in the loaded Western Conference. He coached the Suns for two full seasons before he was fired in the middle of his third year.
Despite getting fired midseason, Hornacek came back the next season as the head coach of the Knicks. However, his stint with New York was also short-lived. Hornacek lasted just two years there and couldn’t win more than 31 games in a season.
What is Jeff Hornacek up to now?
Hornacek was fired by the Knicks after the 2017-18 season. In five years as a head coach in the NBA, Hornacek has a combined 161-216 record, but that isn’t stopping him from wanting to return to the sideline. In an interview with ESPN last year, Hornacek stated his intent to return to coaching soon.
“I absolutely want to be back coaching and getting back at it after a little break here,” Hornacek said.
There are multiple NBA teams that will be searching for a new head coach this offseason. Although he doesn’t have a stellar record as a coach, Hornacek proved he can be successful with his winning record as a first-year head coach. Someone will give Hornacek another chance if he wants to return to the NBA soon.
All stats courtesy of Basketball Reference