Patrick Ewing was rendered helpless during the 90′s as he wanted Michael Jordan and the Bulls run through New York four times on their way to NBA Championships. The former rivals on the basketball court are now going to team up and try to right the ship in Charlotte. Jordan has hired Ewing as an assistant coach for the Charlotte Hornets/Bobcats. A formal announcement is expected later this week.
Michael Jordan recently hired new head coach Steve Clifford, and now Ewing will join him on the bench. Clifford and Ewing have some history together being apart of Stan Van Gundy’s staff in Orlando. When the Magic traded Dwight Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers, Clifford left the Magic as well. Ewing has also worked under Stan’s brother Jeff Van Gundy in Houston.
The Jordan-Ewing connection continues with both of them appearing in the movie “Space Jam”. Jordan’s North Carolina squad defeated Ewing and Georgetown in 1982 for the NCAA title. And both players were part of the 1992 USA Men’s basketball squad known as “The Dream Team”, and were each represented by the same agent.
Jordan bypassed the opportunity for Patrick Ewing and eight other candidates to become Charlotte’s head coach. St. John’s Mike Dunlap was ultimately named head coach, and Jordan fired Dunlap after one season. Ewing took this past season off from coaching after failing to land the gig in Charlotte. Ewing had also been in considerations for the head coaching job in Sacramento.
The biggest winners in this deal will be the post players for Charlotte. The four designated post players for Charlotte combined to score an average of 18.3 points per game last season. Ewing finished his career with a 21.0 points per game average. Ewing’s experience should help boost the numbers of Charlotte’s low post players.
Jordan has done some very questionable moves with this flailing franchise. He may have done himself a favor in hiring Patrick Ewing. Since Jordan took over the Charlotte organization, the team has changed their nickname and lost 100 more games than they have won. Now, these formal rivals will look to join together and rebuild from the NBA cellar.