New York Knicks
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Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Thompson a candidate; what about Ewing?
By Ian Begley
Mike Woodson seems to be narrowing his search for an assistant coach.
According to two sources, Lasalle Thompson is a leading candidate for the job, which opened up after Kenny Atkinson left New York for a gig in Atlanta.
Thompson and Woodson have a history together.
Thompson, a 15-year veteran, played with Woodson with the Kansas City Kings from 1982-83 to 1984-85.
Thompson also was an assistant on Larry Brown's bench in Charlotte from 2008-09 to 2010-11.
Woodson is very close to Brown, the former Knicks coach. He coached under Brown in Detroit on the Pistons' 2003-04 NBA championship team.
So it makes sense that Thompson would be high on Woodson's list.
But no final decision has been made. And there is no shortage of coaches -- both out of work and currently employed -- who have been beating down Woodson's door for a job.
Thompson, though, seems like a solid candidate to replace Atkinson. Atkinson worked in player development, most famously tutoring Jeremy Lin before, during and after Linsanity.
Thompson worked with scores of young players in Charlotte as a strength and conditioning coach and an assistant.
As a player, Thompson had the reputation as a hard-nosed rebounder, an attitude that would serve the Knicks well and complement Woodson's defense-first philosophy.
That being said, the eternal question around here still remains: what about Patrick Ewing?
Ewing recently declined an offer to coach the Knicks D-League team, according to a source close to the Hall of Fame center.
Ewing has served as an assistant coach in the NBA for eight seasons, with the Washington Wizards, Houston Rockets and, most recently, the Orlando Magic.
One source close to Ewing said the Hall of Famer felt a bit slighted by the Knicks' offer to coach the Erie Bayhawks because he has already established himself in the NBA.
"Patrick has paid his dues," the source said. "He was a little insulted."
Ewing was not retained by the Magic after they fired Stan Van Gundy in May.
He said in the offseason that he still wants to coach and doesn't want to be pigeon-holed as a "big-man coach."
"I consider myself a coach," Ewing told reporters. "Even though I did play the position and (am) very knowledgeable about the position, I feel that I'm knowledgeable about every position."
But he's never been close to getting an NBA coaching job with Knicks.
The team recently unveiled new uniforms with stitching on the inside that reads, "Once a Knick, Always a Knick."
But what about Ewing?
Question: Do you want to see Ewing back with the Knicks?
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