Knicks hall of fame center Patrick Ewing appeared on “the Mike Lupica” show today and discussed a possible return to the garden. The interview can be heard here.
The 49 year old is an assistant coach under Stan Van Gundy with the Orlando Magic. Last month, Ewing interviewed with the Detroit Pistons about their head coaching vacancy. The job was ultimately given to Lawrence Frank. Ewing said in the interview that he would like to return to the Knicks as a coach one day:
“I hope that one day I get to come back home because I do live in this area, I still consider this my area, I still consider myself a Knick. Hopefully one day I’ll be brought back here,”
Having been one of the dominant defensive players of all time, Ewing should bring a lot of defensive prowess to coaching. He is also the Knicks career scoring leader so clearly he knows something about offense. Could he have a coaching future with the New York Knicks? I loved in the interview how Ewing talked about the prejudice that guards are smarter than centers.
“People think that just because you’re a center, you’re not as smart as the guards or the smaller guys. I think that’s a load of crap. When I played with the Knicks, I was just as important or just as smart as any other of the guards I played with. I still had to call out plays, notice schemes, know the systems, do everything they had to do.”
I think Ewing is 100% right. One great example of this is former Knick point guard Mark Jackson. Jackson, 46, is 3 years younger then Ewing yet he is already a head coach. Ewing has been an assistant coach since 2007 while Jackson had never coached in any capacity prior to the Golden State job. I am not saying that Ewing should be a coach and Jackson should not. I do not believe Ewing is head coach material yet, I believe down the road he will be. I just believe he needs a bit more experience and I would like to see how he does in an expanded role, maybe as a defensive coordinator/assistant coach? There is one team that has a big glaring need at that position, oh yea, the New York Knicks.
Why shouldn’t Ewing be the Knicks defensive coordinator? I think he is more than qualified to fill that role. I would much rather have Ewing, a former player, coaching up Carmelo and Amar’e than a coach who does not hold the respect of the players. I always believe that ex-player coaches hold more respect with todays NBA players than most other coaches do. I doubt Ewing will even be considered for D’Antoni’s coordinator job, especially if Mike Woodson impressed D’Antoni in his interview, but I would love to see them at least give him a chance to interview.