Posted by Shaun Powell
ORLANDO — Do great NBA players make so-so or even lousy coaches? That’s been tossed around the league in recent years because the evidence seems to support that theory. The only great player (NBA 50th anniversary team) who comes to mind is Lenny Wilkens, and he holds the career record for most losses while only winning one NBA title.
Larry Bird, Isiah Thomas and Magic Johnson coached and received mild results. Dave Cowens could never produce a winner. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar can’t even get an interview. Some great players don’t even bother chasing such a career, given the demands of the job. And on and on. We bring this up because Patrick Ewing wants his shot.
Ewing is finishing up his 3rd season as a bench assistant with the Magic and awaits his chance to move a few seats to his right on someone’s bench. He knows he’s fighting an uphill battle, mainly because of perception. He works with Dwight Howard, and that could be holding him back; some general managers might see Ewing as strictly a big man’s coach.
“That’s true,” Ewing said. “But I can do much more than that. All I want is for someone to give me an opportunity.”
We’ll see. There are vacant jobs in L.A. with the Clippers, and in New Jersey (where Ewing has a home) with the Nets. He’s never even received an interview. Given what he’s done in his career, that’s the least he should receive.