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Monday, July 16, 2012
Blazers to interview Patrick Ewing

By Jared Zwerling
Special to ESPNNewYork.com

WASHINGTON -- Former Orlando Magic assistant coach Patrick Ewing confirmed to ESPNNewYork.com on Sunday that he will be interviewing soon for the Portland Trail Blazers head coaching job.

The Blazers have previously spoken to Hall of Fame coaches Phil Jackson and Jerry Sloan, but they both turned down the opportunity. While Kaleb Canales holds down his interim status, the Blazers are also reportedly going to meet with assistant coaches Steve Clifford (Orlando), Adrian Griffin (Chicago), David Joerger (Memphis), Mike Malone (Golden State) and Brian Shaw (Indiana).

Ewing I consider myself a coach. Even though I did play (center) and (am) very knowledgeable about the position, I feel that I'm knowledgeable about every position.

-- Patrick Ewing

Ewing, who's recovering from left foot surgery, interviewed with the Charlotte Bobcats in May, but team owner Michael Jordan told him that he was no longer a candidate. Charlotte then hired St. John's assistant coach Mike Dunlap in mid-June.

Ewing said he still likes coaching and he's "going to see where it takes me." His focus is marketing himself as more than a big-man teacher.

"I consider myself a coach," he said during a USA Basketball and U.S. Military afternoon sports clinic for kids at George Washington University. "Even though I did play the position and (am) very knowledgeable about the position, I feel that I'm knowledgeable about every position."

The former Georgetown Hoya enjoyed being back in his college town on Sunday, where he also took in a Team USA morning practice. He said their size and versatility stood out to him the most.

"The big thing is one, they're small. They're smaller than especially when we played," he said. "Then you've got (Kevin) Durant, he can probably play every position on the floor. They're so versatile, their whole team. You've got LeBron (James), who plays point, forward, center, whatever. Carmelo Anthony, he plays three, four."

So who wins: this year's squad or the 1992 Dream Team?

"You know who I think is better. '92," he said. "We'll kick butt and take names. We have 11 Hall of Famers. They have future Hall of Famers. Our bigs were more skilled than their bigs."

Ewing reflected on his Olympics experience and called it an "amazing" one. He's confident it'll be the same for the young players in London.

"I was fortunate to play on two Olympic teams in '84 and in '92, and we were able to come away with two gold medals," he said. "I had some fond memories, some great times and I hope that these guys that are going over there are going to kick butts, take names and come back with the gold."

Jared Zwerling is a contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.