Patrick Ewing: Will the New York Knicks Take a Chance on Him?

Chris HaydukCorrespondent IIJune 12, 2011

CHARLOTTE - APRIL 24:  Assistant coach Patrick Ewing (C) of the Orlando Magic looks at the referee (not pictured) during a timeout in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Charlotte Bobcats during the 2010 NBA Playoffs at Time Warner Cable Arena on April 24, 2010 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.  The Magic beat the Bobcats 90-86.  (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)
Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

Well, it's that time of year again.

With the off season here, speculation has begun to run wild. Important phone calls need to be made, decisions thought through, and, most importantly, contracts signed.

Speaking of contracts, Mike D'Antoni, the current Knicks coach, only has one year left to prove his worth.  While his offensive system is second to none, he places absolutely no emphasis on defense, with some of his former players even saying that he never coached during practice.  Not once.  This is a recipe for disaster for a team with championship aspirations like the Knicks.

This defense, or lack thereof, that has been put out has left much to be desired to say the least, and so it is natural that Knick fans are clamoring for a coaching change. 

There are multiple candidates out there: Jeff Van Gundy, Phil Jackson, Lawrence Frank, Jerry Sloan and Rick Adelman.  However, there is one candidate in particular that strikes a chord in the hearts of Knick fans everywhere. 

That man is Patrick Ewing.

Possibly the best player in the Knicks' storied history, Ewing's return to the Garden would please many fans because of his contributions as a player. 

He also appears to have interest in the team, since he was recently quoted by saying, "I should probably pick up the phone and give him a call," when asked about his speaking with James Dolan on becoming the Knicks head coach.

This move would make sense in the hearts of Knick fans, but most likely wouldn't turn out well.  First of all, Ewing is not proven as a coach. 

He is basically Dwight Howard's one-on-one tutor and, as much as Ewing hates to be pigeonholed like this, has only shown that he can be a coach for big men.  Hopefully he proves me wrong, but right now, all we know is that he coaches centers.

Also, when has an all-time great player been a great coach or GM?  We already tried that with Isiah, and that obviously didn't work out.  Jerry West as the GM for the Lakers is probably one of the only examples of a star player having their success on the court translate to a coaching or GM job.

Don't get me wrong, I love Patrick, but I don't want to see the Knicks make a bad decision here, especially with all the great, proven coaches that are available. 

Guys like Jeff Van Gundy, Phil Jackson, Jerry Sloan and Rick Adelman all have shown that they know how to win, so taking a chance on Ewing doesn't seem like the smartest thing to do at this point.

What do you think of Patrick Ewing as a coach?  Would it work out for the Knicks?  Let me know in the comments below.