Patrick Ewing has already spent enough time in the NBA both as a player and as an assistant head coach to be thinking about the bigger position – head coaching.
“Naturally, I’d love to be back in New York,’’ Ewing said on “The Vertical Podcast with Woj”, adding that becoming a head coach is his goal.
“If the Knicks called me and offered me a position and gave me an interview, I think it would be great. I’ve played there. I’ve been one of their best players. My number is in the rafters. I think it would be a great fit,” said Ewing, who is currently an assistant coach with the Charlotte Hornets.
Meanwhile, Phil Jackson is considering to hire another former player and coach Kurt Rambis to take over the coaching duties at the NY Knicks organization.
“In terms of why I haven’t gotten the opportunity, I really don’t know, can’t put my finger on it,’’ Ewing said.
“I didn’t want to be pigeonholed into being a big-man coach, that could be it. People perceive me as a big man’s coach. Some people think big men can’t think — that guards are the ones who are the floor generals. They don’t really see that [in] the center position — we’re floor generals also. We’re the ones barking out calls on the defense. Back when I played, I called out the offensive signals also. In terms of teaching or learning, I don’t think just because I’m a center, forward or a guard, that makes you a better coach than anyone else,” Ewing said.
Ewing keeps his fingers crossed, hoping one day to get opportunity to coach and see how he can help those on the court.
“I feel if given the opportunity, that would show if I’m good or bad,’’ Ewing added. “I just want the opportunity to prove one of them. There’s been a lot of coaches in the league who have been successful and who failed. But they’ve gotten the opportunity. I feel I haven’t been given the opportunity yet. Until I get the opportunity, I have to continue to work and learn and show everybody I have a passion for coaching,” he said.
“We’re all from the same philosophy, all believe in the same things — stress professional, hard-working defensive teams,’’ Ewing said. “In this day and age, you can’t be just considered a defensive team. You have to be able to score in this era,’’ Ewing said.
Ewing played 17 seasons in the NBA for the New York Knicks, Seattle Supersonics and Orlando Magic, making 11 All-Star teams. As an Olympian, the 7-foot center won gold at the 1984 and 1992 Games. He was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008.
Ewing appeared in 1183 career NBA games, starting in 1122 of them. He holds career averages of 21 ppg, 9.8 rpg and 2.4 bpg in 34.3 minutes of playing time.
He averaged career high 28.6 ppg for the Knicks during thre 1989-90 NBA season, and career high in rebounds (12.1 rpg) during the 1992-93 season. The Knicks retired Ewing’s No. 33 jersey in 2003.
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