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Report: Ewing insulted by offer to coach Knicks D-League team

Sep 11, 2012, 10:42 AM EDT

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UPDATE 10:42 am: ESPNNewYork took this one step further, saying that not only did Ewing turn down the D-League job, he was pretty ticked that’s all the franchise ever offered.

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.”

I can get why Knicks coach Mike Woodson didn’t want to add Ewing to has staff as an assistant, that would have led to a lot of “if things don’t go well we’ve got a coach in waiting in the wings” talk. You know, pretty much what happened with him and Mike D’Antoni.

9:05 am: Well, Patrick Ewing did get a head coaching offer this summer. It just wasn’t the one he expected. Or wanted.

Ewing interviewed for the Bobcats head coaching job this year, he interviewed for the Pistons job last year and… really, it would be faster to list the teams where Ewing hasn’t been passed over. He’s paid his dues as an assistant but has never been offered the big chair.

Except in the D-League, reports Frank Isola of the New York Daily News.

Patrick Ewing, who for years has been passed over for coaching positions with the Knicks, recently turned down an opportunity to become head coach of the club’s D-League team, the Daily News has learned.

Although Ewing is out of work after he was not retained by Orlando, the ex-Knicks great, who interviewed for the Charlotte Bobcats’ head coach position in June, would prefer to work in the NBA.

Ewing is an experienced assistant coach having most recently been on Stan Van Gundy’s staff in Orlando, with stops in Washington and Houston before that. He has interviewed for a number of NBA head coaching jobs but has never gotten an offer.

I don’t know why Ewing didn’t take the Knicks offer (reportedly he would prefer to stay at the NBA level), but I will say there is a perception among some around the NBA that if a coach goes to the D-League he can’t use that as a stepping stone to an NBA head-coaching job. That perception may be unfair and even untrue, but it is out there and some people buy into it. They think the best path to an NBA head coaching job is as an assistant at that level.

The Knicks have an open assistant coach position but Mike Woodson is expected to hire LaSalle Thompson for that spot. They have yet to hire a coach for their D-League team, the Erie Bayhawks.

  1. dolphinatic - Sep 11, 2012 at 10:52 AM

    Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Ewing should get together and form a support group. I bet it’s because none of the teams they interview with have a “real” center to coach up. Beyond Howard, Bynum and Monroe, the league has none. Gortat is good. McGee and Jordan are talented but their bulbs are too dim.

    • sellahh - Sep 11, 2012 at 11:53 AM

      McGee is talented, Jordan is just big and happens to have a huge contract.

  2. jolink653 - Sep 11, 2012 at 11:15 AM

    As a Knicks fan, I will always love Patrick Ewing but I gotta disagree with him here…Every team you interviewed with passed you over for someone else so maybe it’s time you look to be a head coach at a lower level and show what you can bring to the job…If you’re successful down there then I see no reason why someone would discount that experience just because it was in the D-League…And I’d stop taking that as an insult because no one else wants you to coach their team and the Knicks are the first team to offer you a head coaching job at any level

    • aht66 - Sep 13, 2012 at 1:28 AM

      I have to agree with you! As a long time Knick fan I don’t see why Ewing would or should be offended by the this offer from the Knicks. If he truely believes he has alot to offer in the way of coaching than why not start with the D-League. At that starting point he will have an opportunity to impact the lives and help structure the games of these young players trying to make it to the “BIG SHOW”. As you said, if he is successful at this level it could only work in his favor. He needs to start building his resume for a head coaching job by actually having been one and not as an assistant for teams that refuse to bring him back. His good friend MJ only let him interview for the Bobcats as a courtesy and not as a serious candidate.

  3. dysraw1 - Sep 11, 2012 at 11:16 AM

    my man big Pat, in my mind if you took over a D-league team and made any sort of impact, the big boys would have to pay attention. Phil Jackson made his bones with the Albany patroons before he got considerations. sometimes we have to do things we don’t want to, to get where we want be.a coach is a coach whether its little league or the big boys

    • Mr. Wright 212 - Sep 11, 2012 at 3:20 PM

      I agree. I was saying to myself before I even read it that this is a chance to prove yourself. No one is giving him a head coaching job in the NBA without any experience head coaching anyplace else. The young guys who get that opportunity put in time in the lower ranks, but he is 50 now.

      • dysraw1 - Sep 11, 2012 at 4:29 PM

        if an 11 time champ can start in the minors why can’t he

  4. cantonbound13 - Sep 11, 2012 at 11:21 AM

    The bad news for us Knick fans is it seems like Isiah Thomas still has influence in decisions being made. How else do you explain not resigning Lin & a stupid, insulting offer to the greatest Knick player of all time.

    • money2long - Sep 11, 2012 at 11:52 AM

      can’t wait to find out if letting lin walk will bite dolan in the butt. i really wanna see if lin is the real deal and can lead a team. i really do think dolan took that game against miami, where lin looked like a scared puppy, well into consideration when making the decision

    • Mr. Wright 212 - Sep 11, 2012 at 3:21 PM

      Lin did it to himself and he will regret it. Doubt that was Izayer.

  5. tannethrill - Sep 11, 2012 at 11:33 AM

    Wanted to see him and MJ come together in Charlotte, would have been interesting.

  6. rodge1 - Sep 11, 2012 at 11:45 AM

    Being offered anything from the Knicks’ franchise is an insult.

    • deadeyedesign23 - Sep 11, 2012 at 1:53 PM

      He needs to bring in Eddie Curry and sexual harass the Knicks employees. When you do that The Dolan’s trip over themselves to give you a job.

  7. seanb20124 - Sep 11, 2012 at 12:33 PM

    Ahhh the sense of entitlement these guys have.

  8. dls612 - Sep 11, 2012 at 1:35 PM

    Just cause you were a great player doesn’t automatically qualify you to be a coach! He should have accepted that coaching job for the d-league! U paid Ur dues as a player not as a coach!

  9. doctorfootball - Sep 11, 2012 at 1:56 PM

    Really, Patrick? Because the NBA head coaching offers have been pouring in, right? There’s a reason you haven’t been offered a head coaching job even though you’ve been on a multitude of interviews…no one thinks you’re ready. So the Knicks offer you a chance to get your feet wet coaching in the D-League, and you consider it an insult? The insult here is your attitude towards being offered a good opportunity.

  10. cantonbound13 - Sep 11, 2012 at 2:20 PM

    Now a days when you are courting big name free agents it matters to the player that they see a team taking care of former players. James Dolan doesn’t get that. Guys like Ewing & Oakley played their butts off for years for that organization, yet for some reason Dolan has an obsession with Isiah Thomas? Doesn’t make sense to me.

  11. paulhargis53 - Sep 11, 2012 at 2:36 PM

    I’d argue Willis Reed and possibly Earl Monroe as better choices as greatest Knick of all time. Ewing is definitely in the mix though.

  12. onbucky96 - Sep 11, 2012 at 4:14 PM

    Yeah, he’s no Issah.

  13. raider2124 - Sep 11, 2012 at 9:07 PM

    I think it would be insulting to fans if an NBA franchise offered you a head coaching gig with ZERO head coaching experience. The thing about Ewing is that he always though he was better then he was. He though he was the best player in the NBA, he wasn’t now he thinks he’s the best coach, he isn’t. He was the greatest sweater of all time. No one could have sweat dripping off his face like Ewing at the foul line 15 seconds into the game.

  14. eugenesaxe - Sep 11, 2012 at 9:53 PM

    If being offered a D-league job is “insulting”, how’s he going to feel when it never EVER happens at the NBA level?

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