New York Knicks: Jeff Hornacek Rubbed Some Players the Wrong Way (Report)
Mar 29, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek reacts as he coaches against the Miami Heat during the second quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Jeff Hornacek has had a rough first season as head coach of the New York Knicks, and it’s not just the win-loss record that’s the problem.

It’s tempting to give Jeff Hornacek a free pass for his first season as head coach of the New York Knicks. The team has underperformed, but the unique circumstances surrounding them make him an almost impossible target.

Team president Phil Jackson put the team together. He supplied the head coach with a washed up center and a point guard that’s allergic to defense. Those moves have made Jackson the easy target for criticism from fans and the media during his third season in New York.

The one thing that Hornacek’s been scrutinized for is his blatantly negative attitude during games. Apparently, his players have noticed, and it’s having an impact.

Via Yaron Weitzman of Bleacher Report:

For one, Hornacek has looked increasingly defeated as the season has inched on. He’s always been reactive on the bench, but the frequency with which he leaps out of his seat and waves his hands in disgust following poor plays has rubbed some players the wrong way, according to a league source.

The season’s nearly over, and more reports of Hornacek having issues with players will likely come out as we continue. Expect Carmelo Anthony to be a target of those reports.

The most obvious example of Hornacek’s behavior is when he turned his back after Anthony called his number on an isolation play during a rough stretch back in Jan.

You can’t fault a coach for being unhappy when his team has wildly underperformed and appears consistently lazy on the defensive end, but you also can’t blame his players for getting fed up with a negative attitude coming from the bench.

The Knicks were supposed to be a veteran team that went to the playoffs. They weren’t expected to need a coach that yelled at young players like Ron Baker and Chasson Randle. Especially not in April.

Up Next: The Knicks host the Washington Wizards on Thursday, April 6, at 7:30 p.m. ET.

I'm ESNY's Executive Editor for I cover the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets. Email: Chip Murphy covers the NBA for Elite Sports NY. You can find him on Twitter @ChipperMurphy.