Patrick Ewing Calls Tom Thibodeau a 'Great Candidate' for Knicks Head Coach Job

Blake SchusterAnalyst IJuly 3, 2020

Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau reacts to a call during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the New Orleans Pelicans, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
Butch Dill/Associated Press

Consider Patrick Ewing a fan of Tom Thibodeau's candidacy for the New York Knicks' head coach position. 

The former Knicks star has seen Thibodeau's work up close for years, first when Thibs was an assistant with New York during Ewing's playing career and later when they served on Jeff Van Gundy's staff with the Houston Rockets

Speaking to SiriusXM NBA Radio's Starting Lineup, Ewing sang the coach's praises.

"I think Tom's a great coach," Ewing said (h/t's Ian Begley). "I had the opportunity to [play for him], him being on the [Knicks] staff when I played and also work with him. He's been around a lot of years. He knows the game in and out. He's going to do everything that he needs to do in terms of having his team prepared to play every night. I think he'd be a great candidate for that job."

Thibodeau hasn't coached since the Minnesota Timberwolves fired him in January 2019. Despite the failure in Minnesota, he still has an overall winning record at 352-246 and led the Chicago Bulls to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2011 and conference semifinals in 2013 and 2015. 

Throughout his time in Chicago, the Bulls never finished lower than second place in the Central Division. 

The 62-year-old has long been considered the front-runner for the job, but New York has been doing its due diligence and interviewing a number of potential suitors. 

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Candidates Begley reports the Knicks have met with or are planning to interview include Jason Kidd, Mike Brown, Mike Woodson, Kenny Atkinson, Philadelphia 76ers assistant Ime Udoka, Orlando Magic assistant Pat Delany, Bulls assistant Chris Fleming, San Antonio Spurs assistant Will Hardy, Dallas Mavericks assistant Jamahl Mosely and current Knicks interim coach Mike Miller. 

Team president Leon Rose previously told MSG Networks' Mike Breen he hopes to have the search finished by the end of July, around the time the NBA is set to restart the season in Orlando, Florida. 

"It's very exciting," Rose said. "There's a lot of really great candidates. ... We're looking at a lot of different people with a lot of different mindsets, philosophies, and for me personally, this is educational. I need to make sure that we go through this process and dot every 'i' and cross every 't' to make the right decision."