Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Ewing: I want to come home to the Garden
By Greg Newman
Patrick Ewing joined "The Mike Lupica Show" on Tuesday and talked about a possible return to the Big Apple, his coaching career and his old teammates.
Listen to the complete interview:
Ewing, who turned 49 on Aug. 5, is currently an assistant coach for the Magic. He interviewed to be the Pistons' head coach, but the job went to former Nets coach Lawrence Frank.
Could we see Ewing on the Knicks' bench one day?
"I hope that one day I get to come back home because I do live in this area, I still consider this my area, I still consider myself a Knick. Hopefully one day I’ll be brought back here," Ewing, the Knicks' career scoring leader, said in response to a question from Lupica.
When asked about the lack of big men as head coaches in the NBA, Ewing said: "If you look at most of the guys who have gotten the jobs, most of them have been guards. Very few big guys have gotten the opportunity."
The big man was candid about the subject, saying: "People have always said that, 'Oh, he only knows the center position. He can just teach the big guys.' Well, when I played, Jeff Van Gundy was the guy who I worked with. Does that make him a 'big-man coach?'
"People think that just because you're a center, you're not as smart as the guards or the smaller guys. I think that's a load of crap. When I played with the Knicks, I was just as important or just as smart as any other of the guards I played with. I still had to call out plays, notice schemes, know the systems, do everything they had to do."
In regard to Ewing's Hall of Fame playing career, the what-ifs could flow for pages. But most boil down to this: What if Ewing had a better supporting cast? Would Madison Square Garden have a few more banners? (For that matter, would Ewing be on the ballot for the ESPN New York Hall of Fame?)
"I can't speak bad about my teammates. I think my teammates were great guys, they were great teammates, I had fun playing with them," he said. "[But] when I look at [Amare] Stoudemire and Carmelo [Anthony], I've said it before, I never played with that kind of caliber.
"It is what it is. Like I said before, I love my teammates, we did the best that we could for the city of New York, but it just wasn’t in the cards for us."