Friday, July 19, 2013
Van Gundy makes case for Ewing as coach
By Jared Zwerling
Earlier this summer, Patrick Ewing Jr. took to Twitter to express frustration that his Hall of Fame father was still an assistant coach after 10 seasons. It all happened when Jason Kidd became the Brooklyn Nets' head coach with no prior NBA coaching experience.
Well, Ewing Jr. isn't the only one who's confused about Patrick Ewing's situation. On Thursday, former Knicks coach and ESPN NBA analyst Jeff Van Gundy went on a serious monologue on ESPN New York 98.7 FM radio, saying, "I just don't understand the reluctance by some general managers to view him as a viable candidate."
Listen to the interview with Jeff Van Gundy:
"I'd like for someone to take my word for it. Ewing would be an outstanding head coach, but no one has bitten yet," he said.
Asked what is the inside word that works against Ewing, he firmly said, "I don't know."
Here's Van Gundy's entire pitch for Ewing:
"Name me one other top-50 player who's gone back to being an assistant coach like Ewing has, and done it for this long in preparation for his next career. What I'm saying is, this guy has shown that he is all in; he's committed. He has a very good work ethic and he can communicate to players different than I can. I might point out mistakes and get on guys or whatever, but he can be even more forceful because he's been there.
"And he was a player who had great pride and great sensitivities, and so I think he has a great knack for knowing when and how, and how forcefully to talk to players. He's a great player, which is always a positive; then a guy who's so dedicated to the profession, has really worked at it to become a very valued assistant. I'm just hoping someone will take my word for it because I think he'd be very, very good.
"One thing I've always been impressed about Patrick, just like he was as a player, he will take constructive critiques of what he needs to improve and work diligently to try to get better. He's not a guy as a player or as a coach who thought, 'I've arrived.' And when I speak to him, he's always talking about, 'I've got to try to get better at this, I've got to try to get better at that,' and as a coach, that really has a profound effect on your team. When your coaches are always striving to improve, then you can demand from your players that they, too, adopt that culture of always looking to get better."