May 19, 2016 / 3:33 AM / 3 years ago

Hornacek emerges as favorite for Knicks job: reports

Nov 3, 2013; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Phoenix Suns then head coach Jeff Hornacek reacts to a play in action against the Oklahoma City Thunder during the third quarter at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) - Jeff Hornacek has emerged as the favorite to take over as the head coach of the New York Knicks, though talks were still at a formative stage, according to local media reports on Wednesday.

Hornacek, who was fired by the Phoenix Suns in February, was interviewed by the Knicks earlier this week, ESPN said on Wednesday in citing an unnamed league source.

The broadcaster said while talks with the former NBA guard were still not finalised, the team had decided he was their preferred candidate to succeed interim coach Kurt Rambis, who took over when Derek Fisher was fired in February.

The Knicks have posted a losing record the past three seasons but were still valued by Forbes at $2.5 billion, the second highest in the NBA and the eighth most valuable in global sports.

The team, who boast nine-times All-Star Carmelo Anthony and Latvian youngster Kristaps Porzingis on their roster, went 32-50 this season, an improvement on the 17-65 record in 2014-15.

Hornacek played 15 seasons in the NBA before retiring in 2000.

He served three seasons as an assistant coach for the Utah Jazz before moving to the Suns as head coach in 2013. He had a 101-112 record with Phoenix.

Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Greg Stutchbury

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