Patrick Ewing On WFAN: I've Worked Years To Be An NBA Head Coach And It Never Happened

Knicks Legend Believes There's A Bias Against Hiring Big Men In NBA

Joe & Evan
November 19, 2019 - 3:38 pm
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Patrick Ewing is embracing his opportunity to serve as Georgetown University's head coach. 

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Following his illustrious 17-year playing career, Ewing attempted to rise through the coaching ranks with aspirations of one day leading his own team. For Ewing, a veteran of 1,183 games, an 11-time All Star and a Hall of Fame inductee, he's yet to reach that goal. 

On Tuesday, he discussed how he believes there is a bias against hiring big men as NBA head coaches and how he's shooting down the stereotype when he joined Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts. 

"I've worked to be an NBA coach for a lot of years and it never happened," Ewing said. "I was given a few interviews but was never able to get a position. For whatever reason it be, a lot of people think big men are stupid, that we're dumb and can't think. They think the only ones able to think on the court are the guards. I beg to differ. I was the anchor of the defense. I called all of the defensive signals that we were doing. I also called out some of the plays that we ran.

"It is what it is. I can't cry over spilled milk. I wasn't given an opportunity but I have one now and my goal is to be the best coach I can possibly be."

Ewing spent several seasons as an assistant coach in the NBA. He served on the Rockets, Magic and then-Bobcats staffs for over a decade, but never made the full-time jump as head coach. There is vast difference in the demand of working in the collegiate ranks than there is in the NBA.

"This gig is a year-round, 24/7, 365 day a year job," Ewing said. "You really don't get a break. The only break you get is the one you make yourself take. During the season, you have to practice and make sure they're going to class, not getting in any trouble. Offseason - you have to go recruiting all over the place, always trying to get the best players you can to help your program be successful. It's a year-round job but I love it."

Ewing returns "home" to Madison Square Garden on Nov. 21, when the Hoyas face the Texas Longhorns as part of the 2K Empire Classic. There wasn't any doubt regarding Ewing's dominance whenever he steps onto the court. Ewing sits atop of nearly every offensive category in Knicks history after 15 years with the organization. 

The 57-year-old, who led Georgetown to the NIT last year, is arguably considered as one of the greatest to ever don the blue and orange, but he joked the stardom has yet to play a significant part in the recruitment process. 

"No, it hasn't helped me yet," Ewing said. "I was talking to a parent that I was recruiting their kid and they're like, 'I love you! You're my favorite player!" I told them that I've been here for three years - I'm going on my third year - and every parent that has told me that they've loved me I haven't gotten any of their kids."

Click the audio player above to hear Ewing's interview in its entirety.

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