by Eldon Khorshidi | @eldonadam
Patrick Ewing’s desire to become an NBA head coach—preferably, it seems, with his beloved New York Knicks—has been well-documented. But the Knicks, in what could be argued as mildly insensitive, have repeatedly passed on Ewing for coaching positions, and it’s no secret the 11-time All-Star whose number hangs in the rafters of Madison Square Garden feels slighted.
Although Ewing is currently out of work, that doesn’t mean he is willing to sell himself short. The Knicks recently offered Ewing the heading coaching job of the team’s D-League affiliate Erie Bayhawks, and, well, let’s just say he wasn’t too thrilled about it.
The big man turned down the offer because he wished to remain in the NBA, the source said. Ewing has served as an assistant coach for eight seasons, with the Washington Wizards, Houston Rockets and, most recently, the Orlando Magic. One source close to Ewing said the Hall of Famer felt a bit slighted by the Knicks’ offer to coach the Erie Bayhawks because he has already established himself in the NBA. “Patrick has paid his dues,” the source said. “He was a little insulted.” The Knicks have had several coaching staff openings since Ewing began coaching, but they’ve passed over the franchise’s all-time scoring leader again and again. Ewing has not been shy about his desire to return to New York. “I’d be interested in any job, but this is home, naturally,” Ewing told ESPNNewYork.com’s Ian O’Connor in late March. “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.” Ewing was not retained by the Magic after they fired Stan Van Gundy in May. He interviewed for head coaching jobs in Charlotte and Portland in the offseason but did not get either position. Ewing has had great success working with NBA centers such as Yao Ming (during his stint in Houston) and Dwight Howard. He recently told reporters that he does not want to be pigeon-holed as a big-man coach. “I consider myself a coach,” Ewing told reporters. “Even though I did play the position and (am) very knowledgeable about the position, I feel that I’m knowledgeable about every position.”