Under Mike Woodson, the New York Knicks are 8-1, a game above .500 and the current eighth seed in the Eastern Conference.
But, if for some reason, Woodson doesn't work out long term, and Phil Jackson doesn't want to be his replacement, who could the Knicks turn to?
According to the New York Post, Knicks legend and former center Patrick Ewing, who is an assistant coach for the Orlando Magic and has been for the past five seasons, is interested in becoming the head coach of a franchise. And, he wants to be one sooner than later.
Ewing (L) was inducted into the Hall of Fame on Sept. 5, 2008 along with former NBA coach Pat Riley and former Houston Rockets center, Hakeem Olajuwon. (Reuters/Tim Shaffer)
At the same time, Ewing said that he hopes to be interviewed anywhere where there is a vacancy. Looking at some bad teams, such as the Bobcats and Hornets, whose coaches may not be with them long, and current teams besides the Knicks with interims, such as the Blazers and Wizards, they may be foolish not to consider Ewing to fill the position at some point.
As for the Knicks, how fast the head coaching position becomes vacant will mostly depend on how successful the Knicks are after this season. Woodson has exceeded expectations after Mike D'Antoni resigned, and with 15 regular season games left, it looks as though he has everyone on the roster under control and working together cohesively on both ends of the floor.
Nevertheless, the Knicks have a tough remaining schedule ahead, and if they don't maintain their winning ways, then they could quickly fall out of the playoff picture, especially with the Milwaukee Bucks trailing them by just two-and-a-half games.
Woodson would most likely have his interim tag removed if the Knicks make the playoffs. The chances of removal would then most likely increase exponentially depending on how far the team advances. If the Knicks don't make the playoffs, however, then that's when Ewing should at least get some consideration, even despite the fact Woodson took over as head coach mid-season.
I think Woodie's a fine coach, said Ewing before the Knicks' 108-86 win over the Magic on Wednesday. He's done an outstanding job in the eight games he's taken over. But any opportunity I get, I'm ready.
Ewing interviewed for the Detroit Pistons' head coach vacancy last offseason, but the position was granted to former New Jersey Nets head coach Lawrence Frank.
Ewing is well-respected in New York. His jersey is retired for a reason. Fans appreciated the example he set as a team-oriented player and the hard work he exhibited in the paint during games.
If he were to come to New York, the star-studded frontline the Knicks boast could learn a lot and improve greatly. Once that happens, everyone else on the roster would leech on.
Dare it be that if that happens, then fans would see flashbacks of the Knicks of Ewing days?
Maybe so. But for now, let's not get too nostalgic...because number 33 doesn't seem to be all that so...yet.
There are already three teams without a head coach, Ewing said. I'm hoping to get an interview with all of them and hope I land one. That's why I work and study. I'm waiting for the opportunity.