The Detroit Pistons have expanded their head coaching search by interviewing Orlando Magic assistant coach Patrick Ewing, according to league sources.
Ewing, 49, has long desired to be a head coach, and has decried what he viewed as pigeonholing him as a ďbig manĒ assistant, a role he has undertaken while an assistant coach in Houston with Yao Ming and in Orlando with Dwight Howard. Ewing has said that he does a lot more than just work with bigs and is ready to run a team. He badly wanted to get a shot with the Knicks, the team for whom he became a superstar after being taken first overall in the 1985 Draft.
ďItís disappointing that I havenít moved to the next step to getting a head coaching job, but all I can do is keep working hard and keep on preparing myself for whenever that opportunity arises,Ē Ewing told the New York Daily News earlier this month. ĒA lot of people try to pigeonhole me into just a big manís coach and Iím just not a big manís coach. Iím a coach.Ē
He is the fifth known candidate to replace John Kuester, joining former Hawks coach Mike Woodson, former Nets and current Celtics assistant Lawrence Frank, former WNBA coach and current Timberwolves assistant Bill Laimbeer and current Bucks assistant coach Kelvin Sampson, a former college coach at Indiana and Oklahoma. Each has interviewed once with team president Joe Dumars. It is not known if second interviews will be conducted with the Pistonsí new majority owner, Tom Gores.