The Charlotte Bobcats announced Steve Clifford as their new head coach and almost immediately New York Knicks legend Patrick Ewing was mentioned as a possible coach for Clifford's staff. Clifford and Ewing previously coached alongside one another for the Orlando Magic and Houston Rockets. Ewing has worked his way up the coaching ranks and has been looking for a head coaching job. However, he's now emerged as Clifford's likely lead assistant in Charlotte.
Clearly new Charlotte Bobcats' head coach Steve Clifford is a long-time friend of Patrick Ewing. That's why it's believed that it will be the Bobcats looking to impress Ewing much more than Ewing having to impress Charlotte. It's a formality, the job is basically his if he wants it.
“Charlotte is a great city and I'm open-minded,” Ewing told CSNNW.com. “I have worked with Steve for many years in Houston and Orlando and I consider him to be a friend. We'll see what they are looking for and see if it'll be a good fit.”
Ewing was also contacted by the Sacramento Kings about joining their coaching staff but does not have a meeting set up with the team. The fact is, Ewing has more than paid his dues as an assistant. He wants the chance to sit in the head coaches chair.
You can't blame him. Especially after watching his good friend, Mark Jackson, get a chance with even less coaching experience and become a successful coach with the Golden State Warriors. His frustration is validated, but it just doesn't seem like anyone is willing to give him a shot at a head coaching job right now.
This head assistant job with the Bobcats might be the next best thing. While it's not a head coaching job, he would be next in line if something were to happen to Clifford. Additionally, this could be a chance for him to shed the thought that Ewing is just a big man coach. Also, after this there's no team that can claim he doesn't have enough assistant coaching experience. He'll have sat on every seat on the bench except the head coaching chair, and with a stacked resume, the next call may be for a head coach.
Ewing sat out the 2012-13 season and worked on television instead of being on a coaching staff. He's 50 now and after paying his dues since his Hall of Fame playing career as an assistant coach for the Washington Wizards, the Magic and the Rockets, a lead assistant job for Charlotte could be the final piece of the puzzle that leads to Ewing being a head coach in the NBA.
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