New York Knicks

Patrick Ewing Would 'Love' to Return to New York Knicks and Coach Team

CHARLOTTE, NC - JANUARY 25:  Patrick Ewing, Assistant Coach of the Charlotte Bobcats coaches during the game against the Chicago Bulls at the Time Warner Cable Arena on January 25, 2014 in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  Mandatory Copyright Notice:  Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Brock Williams-Smith/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Stephen BabbFeatured ColumnistJune 1, 2014

If Phil Jackson wants to reunite the New York Knicks with one of their all-time greatest players, the option apparently exists. At least as far as Patrick Ewing is concerned.

According to CBSSports.com's Ken Berger, Ewing told CBS Sports Radio's Eye On Basketball show that, "he'd 'love to go back to New York,' but has yet to hear from team president Phil Jackson about the franchise's head coaching vacancy."

Per Berger, Ewing said, "My family's still there I still have a home there. I don't know what is going to happen in terms of who they're going to have to fill that void. But if I get a call, I'll be ready."

Ewing spent most of his career with the Knicks before final stints with the Seattle SuperSonics and Orlando Magic. He's currently an associate head coach for the Charlotte Hornets under Steve Clifford. Previously, Ewing has also served as an assistant with the Magic, Houston Rockets and Washington Wizards.

The Boston Globe's Gary Washburn argued in April that the Knicks should consider Ewing, noting he, "has been passed over for opportunities to be a head coach, despite his stellar playing career and experience as an NBA assistant."

According to Washburn:

Ewing would seem to be an intriguing candidate to coach the Knicks. His retired number hangs from the rafters at Madison Square Garden and he was one of the top players of his generation. He has worked wonders this season with Charlotte big man Al Jefferson, who is an All-NBA first-team candidate.

By all accounts, Jackson is looking for a head coach with whom he has previous working experience. Names like Derek Fisher have accordingly risen to the forefront of the discussion, but there's still a chance Jackson decides to look outside a group of trusted associates. 

ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy said he believed Jackson could indeed opt to hire someone without experience running his famed "Triangle Offense." If he's correct, that would seemingly leave the door cracked open for someone like Ewing.

The other variable is whether Jackson is willing to consider someone without previous head coaching experience. If interest in Fisher is any indication, Jackson apparently wouldn't be opposed to the premise. And, for what it's worth, Ewing would seem to have more than enough experience as an assistant to earn some attention.

If it's not with New York, chances are an opportunity will surface somewhere before too long.

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