At the outset, let me go on record by saying that I’m not really convinced that I would like Patrick to coach the N.Y. Knicks. Not because I don’t want to see him land his first head coaching job in the Big Apple, it’s just that I wouldn’t want to see him hired and then possibly let go should the season not pan out enough to please owner James Dolan.
What has been surprising is not the fact that Ewing has been an assistant coach for almost a decade and hasn’t landed a head coaching gig, it’s that in all this time he has managed to garner just one interview. That was with the Detroit Pistons last year who opted to pass on Patrick and go with ex-N.J. Nets coach Lawrence Frank instead.
Of course, New York would be the most logical place for the Hall of Famer to make his head coaching debut as Patrick is one of the most iconic ex-players ever to wear a Knicks uniform. His #33 jersey was retired to the Madison Square Garden rafters on Feb. 28th, 2003 with every major super star of the day in attendance. Whenever the Orlando Magic play at the Garden Ewing is usually treated to long ovations from the home crowd. But, at the moment, interim coach Mike Woodson is at the helm and has been doing an admirable job, given the injury plagued condition of many of his players.
“I still have my place here (in New Jersey), and I’d love to interview for any job, here or anywhere,” he told ESPN.com recently.. ” I played here. I know the ins and outs of New York, the media, the fans.” And even though all this is true, whenever there has been an opening for a head coach, invariably, Ewing has been passed over.
Currently, there are three NBA teams with interim head coaches; Kaleb Canales in Portland, Randy Wittman in Washington, and the aforementioned Mike Woodson in New York. Ex Knick guard Mark Jackson spent several years as an analyst on ESPN before landing the head coaching gig in Golden State this season. I don’t see the ‘Big Guy’ in that role necessarily however he began his career as an assistant coach with the Wizards after retiring from playing in 2002. Perhaps that would seem the most logical move for Ewing; time will tell.
“I hope. I hope,’’ Ewing said while speaking with Marc Berman of the New York Post. “ There are already three teams without a head coach. I’m hoping to get an interview with all of them and hope I land one. That’s why I work and study. I’m waiting for the opportunity.’’
We’re not saying that Ewing would make a good head coach or bad. We’re just wondering why he hasn’t been afforded the opportunity yet…