According to several sources, Patrick Ewing is emerging as a serious candidate to replace John Thompson III at Georgetown. Ewing is currently the Associate Head Coach for the Charlotte Hornets. As a side note, it’s been reported that Ewing has the blessing of John Thompson II.
It’s no secret that Ewing has been frustrated by the lack of head coaching opportunities he’s had in the NBA. It’s been mystifying to some but the NBA has been a league that has hired assistant coaches, former players with no coaching experience, videographers etc. This makes it hard to pinpoint why Ewing hasn’t been given a serious opportunity to get a head position.
To some in the industry, it’s perplexing. In 2016 Stu Jackson said “Given the level of player that he was, the pedigree that he beings and dare I say the coaches he has worked with – most recently Steve Clifford – he has the resume to be a head-coaching candidate and he has the resume to be a head coach in the NBA and be successful.”
It’s hard to believe that Ewing would consider Georgetown if he thought he was close to a head coaching job in the NBA. Coaching kids and coaching men require a completely different skill set. It’s why most casual fans don’t fully appreciate what Brad Stevens is doing with the Boston Celtics. Stevens stepped from Butler to one of the signature franchises in the NBA. His ability to adjust along with a strong front office has the Celtics as the Cleveland Cavaliers main rival in the East.
Ewing will have to come in the opposite direction. He will be leaving an environment where basketball is a business to an environment where the NCAA dictates what level of involvement a coach can have.
Ewing will have to play the recruiting game. Is he willing to kiss up to a 16 year old AAU stud and his parents? Will he want to do the rubber chicken big time booster events? And we haven’t even talked about X’s and O’s.
He can lean on potential Big East coach counterpart, Chris Mullin for advice. Mullin has been tasked to do the same for St John’s. Return a signature program to their 80’s glory years. It’s too early to tell if Mullin will be able to pull it off. What we do know is bringing in a big name doesn’t always equate to success.
On the surface, Ewing needs Georgetown and Georgetown needs Ewing. He connects the present and future to the past. He has the blessing of one of the largest shadows in college basketball, John Thompson II. And he will be as hungry to prove himself as any coach in the country.
Marcus “Mook” Washington is the host of Making The Cut. Follow Mook on Twitter: @mtcwithmook and IG: MTCWithMook