ORLANDO -- Patrick Ewing said of the Knicks' success this season, "I'm happy for them," which underscores the distance he wants to keep between himself and the franchise. He regularly reminds you that he works for the Magic -- he's in his fourth season as an assistant coach under Stan Van Gundy -- and that's where his loyalty lies. But he did praise the Stoudemire signing and laughed when told that Allan Houston said Stoudemire has revived the franchise much like Ewing did when he arrived in 1985-86. "Even when I came," he said, "we were still bad."
Ewing remains determined to become a head coach one day. He acknowledged he did talk with Bobcats owner Michael Jordan, a good friend, but wouldn't go into detail. "I talk to Michael all the time," he said, "so there definitely was a phone call. It depends on what we talked about."
Ewing could be a candidate in Charlotte if interim coach Paul Silas is not brought back. Ewing already has another connection with the Bobcats, as Charles Oakley was named an assistant on Silas' staff. "I think it's great," Ewing said. "Charles has been wanting to be a coach for a long time."
Both, of course, would have preferred to work in New York, where they proudly were the foundation of those rugged Knicks teams in the 1990s. Ewing was hopeful that at the very least his son, Patrick Jr., would continue his legacy with the Knicks, but he was cut after training camp when Shawne Williams earned the spot. Ewing Sr. said he was "disappointed, yeah, but I'm like any parent. He played well. Flip a coin."