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Patrick Ewing believes Tom Thibodeau is a “great candidate” to take over as head coach of the New York Knicks.

A lot of names have popped up in the crowded race for the New York Knicks head coaching job, but former Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau has firmly remained at the top of the pack. Now, Thibodeau has a strong endorsement from one the all-time great Knicks, Patrick Ewing.

The 11-time All-Star told Frank Isola and Sarah Kustok on SiriusXM NBA Radio that Thibs is the right man for the job.

“He’s been around for a lot of years,” Ewing said. “He knows the game in and out. He’s going to do everything he needs to do in order to have his team prepared to play every night. I think he’d be a great candidate for that job.”

Ewing has experience playing under Thibodeau during the waning years of his career in New York. Thibodeau served as an assistant coach for nine years in New York, working under Jeff Van Gundy for four seasons.

It’s a rousing endorsement for a coach who is trying to re-establish his name in the league following a conflict-filled tenure in Minnesota. Ewing’s opinion could be music to the ears of Thibodeau, but it may have less of an impact on new team president Leon Rose.

Rose has taken a methodical approach to this monumental hire. The new head coach will not only be Rose’s first major move as an executive, but will hopefully signal the end of the Knicks’ losing ways. The sheer number of candidates shows how calculated Rose can be. So, Ewing’s opinion on the matter may not even matter. Only time will tell.