Former New York Knicks legend Patrick Ewing has declined an offer to coach the Knicks D-League team, insisting that he has paid his dues and is ready to coach on the NBA level.
According to ESPN.com, a source close to Ewing said he turned down the offer because he wishes to remain a coach on the NBA level. Ewing has been an assistant coach for eight season, serving stints with the Washington Wizards, Houston Rockets and the Orlando Magic.
Given his time served in the NBA, Ewing felt a bit insulted at the offer to coach the Erie Bayhawks. Despite having several coaching staff openings over Ewing’s coaching career the Knicks have never reached out.
The franchise’s all-time leading scorer expressed interest in returning to New York and coach to ESPNNewYork.com’s Ian O’Connor in late March. “I’d be interested in any job, but this is home, naturally,” Ewing said. “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 interviewed for head coaching jobs in Portland and Charlotte this offseason but was not offered either position.
Ewing has made his mark working with NBA centers like Dwight Howard and Yao Ming, but the legendary big man would like to avoid being labeled as a big mans coach.
This is a questionable decision by Ewing when you consider the scarcity of head coaching jobs and his lack of experience at the position. A stint in the D-League would give GM’s across the league a chance to see Ewing run a team.
As history has shown us, head coaching jobs are usually filled by someone who already had filled the position before. Hopefully Ewing’s pride hasn’t stunted his climb up the NBA’s coaching ladder.