It’s probably not likely but the question needed to be asked. Now that the Orlando Magic have parted ways with head coach Stan Van Gundy, will assistant coach Patrick Ewing get a chance to take over the team?
Ewing has long sought a chance to prove his coaching abilities with a team in the league but with the Magic still trying to woo center Dwight Howard into signing a long-term contract, expect them to seek a more high-profile coaching hire.
That means they will be looking at some of the big names that are currently available like Mike D’Antoni, Nate McMillan, Brian Shaw, Jerry Sloan or Phil Jackson.
D’Antoni has already expressed interest in the Magic’s coaching position and his offensive philosophy would make sure Howard got the ball a lot on offense. The defense would be sure to regress under D’Antoni though which wouldn’t sit well with Howard once the team started to lose games.
It’s doubtful that Jackson would be interested in coaching Orlando. Jackson loves the big-city and Orlando just wouldn’t fit his over-sized ego, no matter how much money they threw at him.
Shaw would be an interesting pick but he won’t impress Howard who has a championship-mindset when it comes to winning. Shaw is considered to have a bright coaching mind but he would still be finding his coaching identity since it would be his first head coaching position.
Sloan would be an awesome pick for the Magic. One thing Van Gundy instilled in this team was discipline so Sloan would be a great carry-over. Sloan is way less verbally abusive than Van Gundy was though.
Sloan has a history with big men which would benefit Howard. Sloan would also mesh well with a veteran point guard like Jameer Nelson and have the team playing just as tough if not tougher than Van Gundy had them playing.
McMillan may be the most likely choice for the position though. McMillan has a history of getting the most out of his team and the Magic really need that.
This team isn’t as talented as some of the teams they are trying to top in the East Conference but McMillan would have them in contention for the top spot as long as they can shy away from the injury-bug which plagued his teams in Portland.
So Ewing’s chances of taking over the head coaching position are extremely slim unless Howard decides to give him a vote of confidence. And even then that might not win him the job.
Roosevelt Hall is an NFL Blogger for The Sport Mentalist and an NBA Blogger for The Sport Mentalist 2. He is also a Sports Reporter for Pro Sports Lives. He can be contacted at RHall_TPFB@Yahoo.com and be sure to follow him on Twitter @sportmentalist.