Tom Smart, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — It seemed to be just a formality and now the Utah Jazz have made it official — Jeff Hornacek will be an assistant for new coach Tyrone Corbin for the rest of the season.
Corbin made the announcement prior to Utah's practice this morning.
"I'm excited to be here and get back toward the court," Hornacek said. "I'll see the stuff that Ty and Scotty (Layden) have learned over the years and if there's things I see out there, mention them to Ty and just kind of learn what they do."
Corbin said he's thankful for Hornacek's help in the last few days since he took over for Jerry Sloan on Thursday.
"He's been great," Corbin said. "He's been here. He understands what we're running. The guys know him. He's looking forward to getting a little bit more responsibility, so hopefully it works out for everybody."
Hornacek will be Corbin's second assistant the rest of the season. The Jazz have one more spot to fill on their coaching staff, but that might not happen any time soon. With a potential lockout looming this summer by NBA owners, Corbin is hesitant to add any other full-time coaches.
He may instead rely on bringing guys in to help with developmental type of instruction, he said.
"I'm going to take my time a little bit," Corbin said. "With the (rest of the) season being short and the lockout situation looming, I don't want to have a guy come in and things not work out at the end of the year — leave a job or leaves whatever he's doing and we can't do anything for an extended period of time. We'll try and work out what we can."
That means an increased workload for Corbin, Layden and Hornacek.
"We'll have to do more than normal," Corbin said. "Scotty will have to do a little bit more. Jeff will pick up some slack for us. We'll get it worked out. As long as guys (players) are here, are together and understand they have to perform on the floor we'll work it out."
The Jazz held their second practice under Corbin this morning in preparation to face the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday night. The Suns beat the Jazz in Corbin's debut, 95-83, at EnergySolutions Arena. The rematch is in Phoenix.
Utah won't have Andrei Kirilenko for tomorrow night's game. He will travel with the team, but sit out because of the sprained right ankle he suffered against the Suns on Friday.
Both Raja Bell (injured calf) and Ronnie Price (injured toe) practiced today, and their playing status will be game-time decisions tomorrow night. Both players sat out on Friday.
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