Patrick Ewing was elected to the NBA Hall of Fame in 2008, and now he's looking to begin a new resume as a head coach.
And while he hasn't had such luck, Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau believes the former Knick great will one day get his shot.
“I think it’ll happen. He’s very deserving. Unfortunately for him, he’s a guy who has done it the right way,” Thibodeau told reporters at this morning's shootaround. “He was a great player. You can’t imagine how hard that guy worked each day to achieve the greatness that he did. He has prepared himself. He has worked under a number of great coaches. He’s been with Stan. He was with Doug Collins. He was with Jeff Van Gundy. He’s prepared himself well. When the opportunity comes, I think he’s going to do a great job.”
[NOTES: Bulls not taking Bobcats lightly]
After retiring in 2002, Ewing was hired by fellow Dream-Team teammate and former NBA rival Michael Jordan as an assistant for the Washington Wizards. After two years in the nation's capital, Ewing took a year off from coaching before being hired by the Houston Rockets, where he spent three years.
Then first-year head coach Stan Van Gundy hired him as an assistant for the Orlando Magic, where he coached from 2007 to 2012. He was hired by Steve Clifford and the Charlotte Bobcats this offseason, again as an assistant.
Despite the assistant gigs, Ewing has been interviewed for a pair of head-coaching gigs, both with Detroit in 2011 and Charlotte in 2012.
We’ll see. Only time will tell," Ewing told reporters. "Thibs waited 20-something years. I’m not waiting that long.”
Ewing was thrust into a head-coaching role two weeks ago when Clifford was admitted to a hospital after suffering chest pains. He needed two stents put in his heart and missed the Bobcats' Nov. 8 matchup against the Knicks, ironically Ewing's former team.
The Bobcats lost that game, 101-91, but Ewing said it was a thrill to be in charge for a night.
"Oh, it was a great experience. I’ve coached the summer league, but I’ve never coached in a real game," he said, "so I use every experience as a learning experience until I get my opportunity.”