A former NBA player, Ford was the second player selected in the 1978 NBA Draft by the Kansas City Kings and won the 1979 NBA Rookie of the Year award. He was also named to the NBA All-Rookie Team and to the All-NBA second team that season. Ford played seven seasons in the NBA with Kansas City, New Jersey, Milwaukee and Houston, averaging 11.6 points and 6.4 assists in 482 games. As a player at North Carolina, Ford earned All-ACC first team accolades in 1976, 1977 and 1978 and was named All-ACC Tournament first team in 1975, 1976 and 1977 and second team in 1978. He was listed on multiple All-America teams, earning first-team status in 1976, 1977 and 1978. Ford was named ACC Player of the Year in 1977 and 1978 and also was a member of the gold medal-winning U.S. Olympic team at the 1976 Montreal games.
Hanners comes to the Knicks with 17 years of coaching experience, including two seasons with the Pistons and three with the Philadelphia 76ers under Brown. Prior to his NBA coaching experience, Hanners spent 12 seasons on the University of North Carolina basketball staff. During his tenure at Carolina from 1989-90 to 1999-2000, the Tar Heels played in six Final Fours, won an NCAA title in 1993 and captured four Atlantic Coast Conference championships while compiling a 292-92 record (.760).
Hanners served on Larry Brown's Olympic coaching staff for the 2004 Olympics, serving as the team's video coordinator. A native of Columbus, OH, Hanners played guard at UNC from 1972-76, earning four letters and was a tri-captain of the 1976 team. Hanners entered the collegiate ranks, serving as an assistant coach at UNC Wilmington for three years, at Furman University for two years and at East Tennessee State University for four years. Hanners served as head coach of UNC's junior varsity team in three different stretches from 1976-78, 1994-96 and finally in 1999-2000, where he guided the team to a 12-3 record.