The combination of events upset his son, Patrick Ewing Jr., who took to Twitter to express his frustration over his father being passed over.
“I just felt like they never really offered my dad something solid, something that wasn’t a step below what he had been doing,” Ewing Jr. said on Tuesday.
Ewing Jr. said he believes there’s a perception that his father doesn’t fit the mold of a head coach because he played center, and that many believe “bigs” don’t make good coaches.
“Having played 17 years in the league, you can’t be just athletic for that many years,” Ewing Jr. said. “At some point he had to rely on his smarts and not just his athletic ability. So he’s definitely smart. He’s smarter than a lot of people perceive bigs to be. And he’s been around some of the best coaches in the game from Pat Riley to Don Nelson to John Thompson.”
Clifford has no doubts Ewing will get a shot at being an NBA coach.
“He has all of the qualities that would make for a great coach,” Clifford said. “He has a passion for the game, great knowledge and tremendous work ethic. And he has a definitive philosophy on how to play the game.”
For now, Ewing shrugs it off.
His focus is on doing the best he can to help Jordan’s struggling Bobcats turn things around.
“I hope I get a chance” to be an NBA head coach, Ewing said. “I’ve been doing this for a lot of years now, but right now it is what it is. So I’ll keep working.”