The New York Knicks attempted to return to the top of the National Basketball Association by appointing Phil Jackson to run basketball operations at Madison Square Garden. However, it hasn’t exactly gone completely to plan for the Hall of Famer. Carmelo Anthony‘s future looks as shaky as ever; there is little-to-no cap space and the current roster is not good enough to reach the playoffs in a historically weak East.
The biggest blow came when Steve Kerr turned down the coaching job when he looked like a slam dunk to take the gig. It’s clear to see the Knicks were taken aback by Kerr’s decision and didn’t really have a backup option. Kerr was their guy. Fans had bought in. Only a big-name appointment will appease the loyal Knicks fans. A man that understands the trials and tribulations of being a Knick. A man that is big enough to not get sucked up by the New York media. A man that is hungry and young enough to lead the team with passion and vigor; something Mike Woodson lacked in the 2013-14 season.
That man, in my opinion, should be Patrick Ewing.
For far too long has the former Knick great been overlooked as an NBA head coach. For more than 10 years, Ewing has been an assistant coach in the NBA. Stints in Orlando, Washington, Houston and now Charlotte have been pretty successful. Ewing worked closely this past season with All-NBA performer Al Jefferson and look how it turned out: fantastically. Dwight Howard is another one of Ewing’s projects. He’s not a bad player.
Steve Kerr — someone who has never coached, even as an assistant — had the pick of some of the best NBA franchises, whereas Ewing’s 12-year slog in coaching hasn’t bumped him up the pecking order.
First-time head coaches are en vogue. Yet, even then Ewing can’t land a gig. He’s a player with a vast reputation; an impressive resume and he already has assistant coaching experience. To me that seems perfect for a new coach. Jason Kidd got the job straight after the season he retired — whereas Ewing has gone away, earned his badges yet still can’t land a head coaching job.
The Knicks should seriously consider Ewing for their top job. Sure, he has never had experience with the triangle and sure, his relationship with Phil Jackson probably isn’t there, but if we’re talking strictly merit, I can’t think of many better candidates that haven’t had a go in the hot seat.
Derek Fisher is thought to be the Knicks first choice now that Kerr has decided to take over in Golden State. Again, a player walks straight out of the league into a job. Why not make him pay his dues? Why not make him spend 12 years as an assistant? The Knicks have always been a win-now franchise, and appointing Ewing with someone like Fisher as his assistant could be a very good way of keeping that famed tradition alive.