Hornacek Named West Coach of the Month
Phoenix Suns Head Coach Jeff Hornacek today was named the NBA’s Western Conference Coach of the Month for December 2013 after leading the Suns to a 10-3 record for the month, the league has announced.
Hornacek, who won NBA Player of the Month in December 1991 while a guard with the Suns, joins Larry Bird and Larry Drew as the only people in NBA history to win the monthly honor as both a player and as a coach. Hornacek is the first to win both honors with the same franchise as Bird won Player of the Month seven times with the Boston Celtics and Coach of the Month once with the Indiana Pacers (January 1998), while Drew won Player of the Month with the Kansas City Kings (December 1982) and Coach of the Month with the Atlanta Hawks (December 2012).
Under the first year head coach’s guidance, the Suns are 19-11 which is their best start through a season’s first 30 games since also opening 2009-10 with a 19-11 mark. Hornacek’s 19-11 record is the second-best by a Suns head coach through his first 30 games at the helm, topped only by Paul Westphal’s 24-6 tally in Phoenix’s Western Conference championship season of 1992-93.
Hornacek wins his first career NBA Coach of the Month award and becomes just the sixth head coach in franchise history to earn the honor, joining three-time winner Cotton Fitzsimmons (April 1989, February 1990, December 1991), Westphal (December 1992), Frank Johnson (December 2002), four-time winner Mike D’Antoni (December 2004, February 2006, December 2006, January 2007) and two-time winner Alvin Gentry (November 2009, March 2010).
Hornacek garners the 12th monthly selection in franchise history and the first since Gentry in March 2010 after leading the Suns to a 10-3 (.769) record in December which is their best winning percentage for a month since Gentry earned the honor for March 2010. The Suns put together winning streaks of five games and three games in December, in addition to a current two-game streak to enter January.
The Suns return to action tonight, hosting the Memphis Grizzlies (13-17) at US Airways Center at 7:00 p.m. Tickets remain available as the Suns attempt to avenge one of only three losses in December.