After serving as an NBA assistant coach for eight seasons, Patrick Ewing hoped this might be the year he finally got a shot at a head coaching gig.
He interviewed with Charlotte and Portland, but the Bobcats went with St. John’s assistant Mike Dunlap and the Trail Blazers picked Terry Stotts.
So the New York Knicks offered him their Hall of Fame center a consolation prize: the head coaching position for their D-League affiliate, the Erie Bayhawks.
That wasn’t quite what Ewing had in mind, so he declined the offer, as reported by Frank Isola of the New York Daily News.
And according to an ESPN report, he was a little miffed that the team he helped lead for 15 years — and a team with a current assistant coaching vacancy — wasn’t willing to offer him a spot on the senior circuit bench.
“Patrick has paid his dues,” a source told ESPNNewYork.com’s Ian Begley. “He was a little insulted.”
Over the last eight seasons, Ewing worked as an assitant coach with the Washington Wizards, Houston Rockets and Orlando Magic, helping to sculpt the post games of all-star centers Yao Ming and Dwight Howard.
In March, Ewing told ESPNNewYork.com that he hoped to return to the Knicks should the opportunity arise.
“I'd be interested in any job, but this is home, naturally,” said Ewing, who was not retained when the Magic fired Stan Van Gundy after the season. “I still have my place here [in New Jersey], and I'd love to interview for any job, here or anywhere.
“I played here. I know the ins and outs of New York, the media, the fans.”
As Isola points out, the team already has former players Walt Frazier, Allan Houston, Larry Johnson, John Starks and Herb Williams under contract, making their lack of interest in Ewing for their Knicks assistant opening a bit curious.