He's still waiting for that phone call. To say he's waiting for that call patiently, would be an immense understatement.
Hall of Fame center, Patrick Ewing, 50, is quite aware of the NBA head coaching positions that are opening up by the week and quite frankly, it's frustrating for the big man to see General Mangers not give him a passing thought when considering candidates for their vacancy.
“It's just disappointing, but I'm just hoping and waiting somebody gives me a look,” Ewing told CSNNW.com. “I just need an opportunity. All it takes is one team.
“Look at [Chicago Bulls Head Coach] Tom Thibodeau, he's a great coach who coached me in New York and I spent time with him when we were assistants in Houston. It took him a long time before somebody finally gave him a chance. When he got it, he took full advantage of it. I'm hoping somebody in the NBA gives me a chance so I can show what I am capable of doing.”
With the Brooklyn Nets (and possibly the Los Angeles Clippers) likely in need of an experienced coach to lead their roster, teams such as the Philadelphia 76ers, Charlotte Bobcats, Detroit Pistons, and Phoenix Suns are more inclined to take a swipe on a young assistant, handing that candidate their first NBA head gig.
Yet, up to this point, no one has called inquiring about Ewing's services.
Maybe it's the position Ewing played and the secretive belief that a center has a tough time relating and coaching players that play other positions. Currently there are no NBA head coaches that have played the center position roaming the sidelines. Houston Rockets Kevin McHale would be the closest even though he was listed as a power forward.
Ewing has been an NBA assistant coach for eight seasons, but widely known as big-mans coach/developer, a label he's desperately trying to shed.
“I'm not just a big-mans coach, I consider myself to be a well-rounded coach,” Ewing said. “Just because you played a certain position during your playing days, doesn't mean you don't have the knowledge and skill-set to help the guards or forwards improve their games.
“It's unfortunate to be pigeonholed into one category. That's just what I want to prove to teams, that I feel and know that I'm a all-around good coach.”
Last offseason, Ewing interviewed for the Bobcats head coach opening that was eventually landed by Mike Dunlap who has since been fired. He agreed to interview for the Portland Trail Blazers head coaching vacancy that same offseason before Dallas Mavericks assistant Terry Stotts obtained the job, but says he was on vacation with his family when interviews were being conducted in Las Vegas. And once he returned from vacation, he says he was told that the team was going in a different direction.
Four months later, Ewing finally got the news he has been waiting for – sort of. His former team, the New York Knicks, offered Ewing the position of head coach of its NBA Development League team, the Erie Bayhawks.
An overture Ewing turned down.
“It just wasn't intriguing to me,” he said. “I feel like I have put in my time, and going that route, I didn't think it was the best path for me in ultimately reaching my goal.”
Ewing was without a coaching job during the 2012-13 season, a feeling he describes as “weird.” He spent time with his family in New York while occasionally doing some television work for NBA TV and the MSG Network.
But make no bones about it, he wants back on the bench and for the time being, he says all he can do is wait it out in hopes of just one GM or coach seeing him as an interesting candidate to have serious dialogue with.
“I'll interview for any (NBA) head or assistant job out there,” Ewing reiterated. “I do believe I'm ready to be a head guy but I also want to be on a staff somewhere. Hopefully I get a call soon, but you never know.
"I'm not giving up.”