Michael Jordan did it again! The man who almost single handedly prevented Patrick Ewing and the New York Knicks from winning at least one championship during Ewing's time with the franchise, from 1985-2000, has now denied Ewing's chance to become a head coach in the NBA. Jordan officially informed Ewing that he is out of the running to coach the Charlotte Bobcats.
Patrick Ewing was drafted number one overall in the 1985 NBA draft by the New York Knicks. He led the Knicks as one of its all-time best players until he was traded in 2000. He briefly played for the Seattle SuperSonics and the Orlando Magic and announced his retirement on September 18, 2002. On February 28, 2003, Ewing's jersey number 33 was retired by the Knicks in front of a sold out crowd at Madison Square Garden.
Ewing was named as the 16th greatest college player of all time by ESPN. He won Olympic Gold Medals as a member of the 1984 and 1992 US Men's National Basketball teams. Ewing was selected as one of the 50 Greatest Basketball Players of All Time. On April 7, 2008, he was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame. On September 5, 2008 he was inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Despite all of his playing accolades and being an NBA assistant since July 3, 2007 Ewing hasn't had much luck searching for a head coaching job. His two head coaching interviews, with the Pistons last off-season and the Bobcats this off-season, appear to have been more out of courtesy than an actual desire for his services. Ewing has most recently watch former teammate Mark Jackson get his chance to coach with no experience on any level. The question is, when will Ewing get his chance to coach in the NBA?
Frank Isola of the New York Daily News reports Ewing is thankful for his opportunity despite being informed he would not be the next Bobcats head coach.
“I just want to thank the Bobcats for giving me the chance to be interviewed,” Ewing said via text message Wednesday night.
Beloved former Knicks head coach Jeff Van Gundy believes Ewing has a bright future as a head coach in the NBA.
“Patrick is ready to be a head coach,” Van Gundy said. “He cannot be discouraged just because one person, even though he’s close to him, didn’t pick him. He’s just got to keep working and grinding it out. I’ve always admired how he’s gone about his job. There’s no doubt in my mind that he will be a successful head coach in the future.”
It's Ewing's dream to be a head coach in the NBA. He's so hungry for the opportunity that he was willing to take on the challenge of coaching the Bobcats to do it. The Bobcats finished 7-59 this season under the leadership of former Knicks assistant Paul Silas. Charlotte’s roster needs a lot of improvement, however, they do have the second pick in the upcoming NBA draft. The franchise set the all-time NBA record for worst winning percentage just last month.
Ewing has served as an assistant coach with the Wizards, Rockets and most currently the Orlando Magic. Last year, he interviewed for the Detroit Pistons’ head coaching position. The Pistons eventually hired Lawrence Frank.
It's a shame the Knicks haven't shown the character to give Ewing an interview, even for an assistants job. It seems the franchise fears Ewing is so popular he would be uncontrollable and become bigger than the franchise. However, with the presence of Amare Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler on the Knicks roster the franchise would be wise to try and pry Ewing away from Orlando and place him on Mike Woodson's staff.
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