New York Knicks legend Patrick Ewing has nearly a decade of assistant coaching experience on top of his Hall of Fame playing career on his resume. Yet he's still not been given an opportunity to be a head coach in the NBA. After seeing both Mark Jackson and Jason Kidd land head coaching jobs without other coaching experience Patrick Ewing Jr. wants to know what his father needs to do to be given an opportunity.
Patrick Ewing had a Hall of Fame career that was mostly played for the New York Knicks. After retiring, Ewing joined the ranks of assistant coaches on the bench for the Washington Wizards. Since then he's worked for the Houston Rockets and Orlando Magic. He was recently hired as the associate head coach of the Charlotte Bobcats. However, he's still hoping to land a head coaching gig in the NBA. Both he and his son Patrick Ewing Jr. feel Ewing deserves a chance at his dream.
Patrick Ewing Jr. took to his Twitter account about his disappointment over Kidd landing a job before his father.
For real though I'm mad J Kidd got a head coaching job a year after retiring n my pops been coaching 10 years n barely gets a look— Patrick Ewing Jr (@pewingjr6) June 13, 2013
Ewing Jr. then went on to knock the Knicks for only offering his father a job as D-League head coach.
That being said I hope j Kidd does great I'm glad the nets brought him back. I love the Knicks but the best offer they had was NBDL HC?— Patrick Ewing Jr (@pewingjr6) June 13, 2013
CBS New York reports that after Ewing turned down the opportunity to coach Erie before the 2012-13 season he knew he'd just have to continue to wait for his shot.
“It’s just disappointing, but I’m just hoping and waiting somebody gives me a look,” Ewing told Comcast SportsNet NW in May. “I just need an opportunity. All it takes is one team.”
Ewing Jr. continued on Twitter saying this was bigger than just his father and more of an issue of qualified coaches not being given a chance.
Not even just my dad though there are more qualified coaches out there not just my dad.
Im not mad at J Kidd or hating that he got the job. I'm happy for him. I like him. I just dont get y other qualified coaches get overlooked
Ewing Jr.'s point is a good one. While it's clear that he's simply sticking up for his father and that he didn't like the Knicks only offering Ewing a job with the Erie BayHawks, he's right that his father has paid his dues as a coach.
That being said, most do view point guards as better head coaching candidates than centers. Quite frankly, Ewing doesn't talk overly swiftly when working on television so his interviews may not go as swiftly as he intends.
CBS New York reports that Ewing loves his son dearly but doesn't need him sticking up for him.
“I told him he needs to stop all that,” the elder Ewing told Boomer and Carton. “I appreciate it, I love him, love him to death. He’s my son, he’s my blood. But I don’t need him to fight my battles.”
He also explained why he turned down the offer to coach the Knicks’ D-League franchise.
“I wasn’t offended,” Ewing said. “I just didn’t want to be a coach in the developmental league. I wanted to be a coach in the NBA. I felt that I worked extremely hard to be a coach in the NBA and I just thought that the opportunity wasn’t in my best interests.”
Ewing also made sure to make it clear he still has an affinity for the Knicks.
“Maybe one day in the near future I’ll be back in the organization,” he said.
Here's the thing, plenty of people don't get the opportunities they want in business. Coaches are no different. Ewing Jr. is right. There are plenty of qualified coaches that don't get the chance to sit in the first chair. It's just part of the business.
Ewing is far from the only guy to have to wait longer than he probably should for promotion. That being said, there's no way to know if he'll ever actually get his opportunity. All he can do is hope, pray and continue to build his resume.
Ewing was recently hired as an assistant by the Bobcats. He'll serve under his friend Steve Clifford who was recently hired to replace Mike Dunlap as head coach. Ewing has been named associate head coach.
Stephen Silas was kept on from Dunlap's staff. Bob Beyer was brought over from the Golden State Warriors as an assistant. Mark Price was brought in to help improve the team’s shooting.
Ewing's position is a promotion from his standard assistant job and could help him shake the stigma of being a big man coach. Clearly the only place he can go from here is to a head coaching gig. Not that he wants Clifford to fail but if he does it could put Ewing in position for Michael Jordan to give him the nod as the Bobcats' next head coach.
Where ever his career takes him the bottom line is that Ewing has to keep working, rubbing elbows with the right people and proving that he's capable of speaking intelligently and running an entire team. If he's not able to convince an owner that he's good enough to be a head coach and a face of a franchise it wont matter how impressive his resume it.
Regardless, it's good to see a son sticking up for his father. Clearly Ewing Jr. was raised right and loves his dad very much. That being said, Ewing is right. He doesn't need his son fighting his battles for him or burning any bridges around the NBA for either of them.
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