As one of the myopic fans that wanted Ewing traded during the late 90s, I still feel awful to see how much disrespect New York Knicks fans have for one of the most iconic players to ever put on a Knicks jersey.
Of course, the legitimacy and rationale behind Ewing becoming a head coach shouldn’t be predicated on an emotional desire to correct Knicks history. Ewing’s candidacy is much more tangible than that. and to continue to disregard it is something that is becoming a little, for lack of better word, strange.
I use the word “strange,” but Ewing doesn’t mince any when describing why he thinks he continues to be passed over. In an interview with Yahoo Sports a year and a half ago, he said:
"“There is a big man perception. They think that all guards are the best thing. It’s a guard-oriented league now.”"
Not too long after Ewing said this, former point guards Jason Kidd and Derek Fisher would be given head coaching jobs directly after the their official playing retirement.
There is no denying that the game has changed into a swift point guard orientated league. Back in Ewing’s playing days, the notion of a 3-point shooting big man was a bit of a circus act, like perennial fan favorite Sam “Big Smooth” Perkins was.
Even today on Ewing’s Charlotte Hornets, a major part of their offense focuses on Al Jefferson getting the ball in the paint and powering his way to the basket like the old warhorse centers of the 1990s. This doesn’t mean that Ewing knows nothing else about the game.
In fact, its his tenacious defense is what I miss most from his Knicks teams, and it’s something he has gone on record as saying he would want to specifically focus on if he was a head coach.