Jeff Hornacek on Sixers' coach search radar

Posted: May 08, 2013

While he's most remembered in these parts for being part of the 76ers' worst trade of the 1990s, Utah Jazz assistant coach Jeff Hornacek has emerged as a potential coach after two years as an assistant, not just in Philadelphia but in other places as well.

Traded from Phoenix to Philadelphia along with Andrew Lang and Tim Perry on June 17, 1992 in exchange for Hall-of-Famer Charles Barkley, Hornacek, the shooting coach in Utah for three seasons before being promoted to an assistant's role, is one of the possible replacements for departed coach Doug Collins.

What is interesting about Hornacek's candidacy is that he really does have limited experience on the bench since he retired in 2000 following a decent 14-year career.

The Sixers, according to a source, have been mostly reaching out to current assistants such as Golden State's Mike Malone and Indiana's Brian Shaw, although they have yet to set up an interview with either. They are also believed to have shown interest in San Antonio assistant coach Mike Budenholzer. As with Malone and Shaw, the Sixers have yet to set up an interview with the Spurs' assistant.

While Hornacek's experience is limited, apparently other teams have come to view Hornacek as coaching material. Other teams such as Milwaukee and Phoenix are also believed to be interested.

During the 2004 offseason, Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge wanted to speak with Hornacek about the vacant coaching job that ultimately went to Doc Rivers. At the time, Hornacek told Boston that he wanted to spend time with his family.

However, Chicago and Phoenix both interviewed Hornacek about vacancies at the time.

"Jeff knows the game very well and he knows what it takes to play at that high, high level," Utah coach Tyrone Corbin said recently. "He can communicate with the guys and he's working extremely hard to help them get better in all areas of their games."

The Sixers' interested in Hornacek can also almost certainly be traced to general manager Tony DiLeo, whose contract expires next month. DiLeo, who along with Sixers majority owner Joshua Harris is conducting the search, joined the Sixers in 1990, just two seasons before the Sixers traded for Hornacek. During Hornacek's two seasons in Philadelphia, according to a source, DiLeo and Hornacek developed a friendship the two have maintained through the years.


Contact John N. Mitchell at  jmitchell@philly.com. Follow on Twitter @JmitchInquirer

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