Most of the top-tier teams in the NBA are focused on making a playoff run, while some are focused on addressing injury issues. This leaves the rest of the league focusing on getting a head start to the 2012 NBA Off-season.
There is little doubt the Charlotte Bobcats are the team in most dire need of a franchise facelift and a new direction. Even though Michael Jordan appears to be committed to president Rod Higgins and general manager Rich Cho, there is little doubt that MJ will be making the final call when it comes to selecting a new coach.
The names that have flown around the league as possible candidates include veteran coaches, like Mike D'Antoni, Jerry Sloan, Nate McMillan, and Jeff Van Gundy, as well as career assistants, like Mike Malone, Brian Shaw, Mike Dunlap, Nate Tibbets, and Steve Clifford.
Arguably the most intriguing name, however, remains that of former NBA All-Star center, Patrick Ewing. Ewing, who has been an assistant for nine seasons total, has been serving as an assistant coach for the Orlando Magic over the past five seasons. He has also held assisting positions on the coaching staffs in both Washington and Houston.
In an interview with ESPNNewYork, Ewing passingly expressed his desire to be a head coach in the NBA when he said, "I'd be interested in any job... I'd love to interview for any job, here (New York) or anywhere."
Ewing continued by making a short case for himself, stating, "I think I've paid my dues. I've been an assistant coach for eight, going on nine years, and I'd love to have an opportunity to get an interview. I've put in the work. I've learned from a lot of very good coaches in Stan (Van Gundy), Jeff (Van Gundy), and Doug Collins, and I've played for a lot of great coaches. All I need is an opportunity, and once I get that opportunity, hopefully I'll be successful."
Patrick Ewing is one of the most polarizing figures in NBA history. He had a hall of fame career as a player and has paid his dues as an assistant coach. He does deserve a shot at becoming a head coach in the NBA. However, he needs to first ask himself if taking on the task of trying to resurrect the team with the worst winning percentage of all-time is worth risking his coaching career over, which is still in its infancy.