Patrick Ewing

Knicks Notes: Roster, Robinson, Durant, Ewing

Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson and Damyean Dotson are the only current Knicks who should definitely be on the roster next season, writes Steve Popper of Newsday. Knox showed enough promise at age 19 to hold onto, Robinson was a second-round surprise who became the league’s second-best shot blocker and Dotson is a part-time starter with an affordable contract.

Popper lists Dennis Smith Jr., who was acquired in the Kristaps Porzingis trade, as a question mark, noting that his fate could depend on whether the Knicks are in position to draft Ja Morant or sign Kyrie Irving or Kemba Walker in free agency. Also questionable to return, according to Popper, are Frank Ntilikina, Allonzo Trier, Lance Thomas and Luke Kornet. Popper expects the rest of the roster to be overturned, including DeAndre Jordan, whom he speculates will be too pricey to re-sign as a back-up center.

There’s more today from New York:

  • Coach David Fizdale believes Robinson would be a lottery pick if last year’s draft were redone, relays Chris Iseman of NorthJersey.com. Fizdale admits he didn’t know much about Robinson when the Knicks grabbed him with the 36th pick, but he quickly blossomed into a force in the middle, swatting 2.44 shots per game. “I think we can all agree if we had to restructure the draft right now, I don’t think he’ll go 36,” Fizdale said. “I think he’d be in that top 10 pretty easily.”
  • LeBron James‘ disappointing first year with the Lakers should make Kevin Durant think twice about whether he wants join the Knicks, states Frank Isola of The Athletic. For all of Durant’s talent, he has a reputation as a highly sensitive player who might not adjust well to the atmosphere in New York. Isola suggests that he will only consider the Knicks if he can find another top-level free agent to join him.
  • Fizdale played a pivotal role in easing tensions between Patrick Ewing and the Knicks after years of a strained relationship, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post. Ewing will represent the team at next month’s draft lottery.

Knicks Notes: Jordan, Ewing, Williamson, Fizdale, Coaching Staff

The Knicks acquired veteran center DeAndre Jordan as part of the Kristaps Porzingis blockbuster in February. Jordan was viewed as a potential buyout candidate; a veteran player likely interested in latching on with a contending team. However, he finished out the season in New York.

Head coach David Fizdale said this week that the Knicks offered Jordan a buyout, but he wanted to remain with the team, tweets Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News. Jordan, 30, appeared in 19 games with the Knicks, averaging 10.9 PPG and 11.4 RPG — solid totals in line with his career production.

In addition to his production, Jordan served as a mentor for a young team, particularly to promising big man Mitchell Robinson. As the Knicks prepare for an active offseason, Jordan remains a possibility to re-sign with the team.

Check out more Knicks notes down below:

  • Knicks legend Patrick Ewing will represent the team at the NBA draft lottery next month and the team is hopeful he will be a good luck charm, ESPN’s Ian Begley writes“Patrick is a huge part of our team’s history and we’re thrilled to have number 33 represent the franchise at this year’s draft lottery,” Knicks president Steve Mills said.
  • While the Knicks will hope for the best at the lottery, particularly the chance to draft Duke’s Zion Williamson, the team is prepared for any outcome, Forbes’ Adam Zagoria writes.At the end of the day, I’m really prepared for whoever we get,” Fizdale said on The Michael Kay Show.
  • It’s unclear how different the Knicks’ roster will be next season but Fizdale is also not looking to change the coaching staff, Marc Berman of the New York Post writes“No, I like these guys,’’ Fizdale said. “These guys are good. They know their stuff. They know their craft. We got some really knowledgeable guys.”
  • Speaking of next season, both Berman of The Post and Newsday’s Steve Popper examined the Knicks’ roster and who may or may not be back for the 2019/20 season.

Gasol, Fizdale Tensions Went Far Beyond Benching

Grizzlies center Marc Gasol and former coach David Fizdale had such a strained relationship that they rarely spoke to one another, according to the Memphis Commercial Appeal’s Geoff Calkins. Fizdale was fired on Monday, one day after he benched his leading scorer, rebounder and shotblocker in the fourth quarter against the Nets. The benching served as the breaking point and Gasol, who has a tight relationship with owner Robert Pera, had expressed major concerns about the team’s direction under Fizdale, Calkins continues.

Commercial Appeal beat writer Ronald Tillery confirms the longterm disconnect between coach and star player. A team source told Tillery that the tension between them and Sunday’s benching weren’t the only reasons that Fizdale was axed. That source said the team was “trending down in several categories.” However, Tillery tweets that as recently as Saturday, a source close to the owner said that Fizdale’s job was safe because of the team’s injury issues. That’s an indication that Sunday’s incident swiftly changed Pera’s thinking.

In other reactions to Fizdale’s dismissal:

  • Cavaliers stars LeBron James and Dwyane Wade both expressed their dismay on social media, demanding answers regarding the firing, as Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com relays. Both played under Fizdale when he was an assistant with the Heat.
  • Interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff is one of the potential long-term replacements for Fizdale but Sean Deveney of the Sporting News lists several other intriguing names. Former head coaches Mark Jackson, David Blatt and Monty Williams, former player Shane Battier, and several current college coaches such as Tony Bennett, Patrick Ewing and John Calipari are some of the candidates Memphis could look at, according to Deveney.

Knicks Notes: Rose, Hornacek, Ewing

As we learned earlier today, Derrick Rose underwent an “uncomplicated” left knee arthroscopy to handle his meniscus tear. He’s expected to resume basketball activities in roughly three to six weeks. Here’s more on the 2010/11 MVP as well as notes on his current team:

  • The Knicks have left the door open on Rose returning to the team, Marc Berman of the New York Post writes.“Derrick did a lot of good things for us this year, with the way he can break down the defense,” coach Jeff Hornacek. “We’ll take a look at it and see if we can bring him back.’’
  • Mike Vorkunov of The New York Times isn’t optimistic about Rose’s future with the Knicks. The scribe believes the franchise should be able to replace Rose with a prospect through the draft.
  • Patrick Ewing recently agreed to become Georgetown’s head coach, but that may be the first stop on his way to becoming the coach of the Knicks, Berman writes in a separate piece. A source tells Berman that Ewing’s relationship with Knicks owner James Dolan is “fully repaired.”
  • Berman notes (same piece) that Ewing had a chance to interview with the school 13 years ago. The Hall of Famer previously said that he didn’t “want to go back to college.”
  • Rose’s injury is likely to limit his options in free agency, George Willis of the New York Post argues. If Rose hadn’t suffered his latest ailment, Willis believes he would have had several multiyear offers from teams around the league. As it stands, the former MVP may have to settle for a one-year deal.

Georgetown Hires Patrick Ewing

1:40pm: Ewing will leave the Hornets staff and start his duties at Georgetown immediately, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical.

1:28 pm: Former Georgetown star Patrick Ewing has agreed to become the university’s head basketball coach, according to Casual Hoya. (Twitter link).

Currently an assistant with the Hornets, Ewing has been in touch with Georgetown officials since John Thompson III was fired nearly two weeks ago. He had his first face-to-face interview for the post today.

Ewing was a dominant center for the Hoyas, who were one of college basketball’s best teams during the 1980s. He played for John Thompson Jr., who was a major advocate for Ewing to be hired as coach.

After a Hall of Fame career with the Knicks, Ewing turned to coaching in 2003, working for the Rockets and Magic before being coming to Charlotte four years ago. He has reportedly been considered for several NBA head coaching jobs, but will now turn his attention toward the college game.

Patrick Ewing Has Georgetown Meeting Today

Hornets assistant Patrick Ewing will meet with Georgetown officials today to discuss their head coaching job, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical.

Ewing has had several phone conversations with the school since John Thompson III was fired last month. Charlotte plays at Washington Tuesday night, making the visit more convenient for the former Hoyas star.

Ewing has been studying the intracacies of running a college programs, Wojnarowski reports, and has has started researching potential assistants. He has also been talking to college coaches who made the jump from the NBA. Sources who have spoken with Ewing believe he is ready for the recruiting challenge that the college game presents.

John Thompson Jr., who coached the center from 1982-85, is a strong supporter of Ewing and has expressed that sentiment to officials from the university. Georgetown was among the college basketball powers of the era while Ewing was there, winning the national championship in 1984 and losing in the 1985 finals.

Wojnarowski adds that Ewing has also received endorsements from the NBA coaches he has worked under, Jeff and Stan Van Gundy and Steve Clifford. They have all given positive reports to Georgetown and the Korn Ferry search group about Ewing’s coaching abilities.

An NBA assistant since 2003, Ewing was close to being hired as the Kings’ head coach last spring, according to Wojnarowski. The last-second availability of Dave Joerger, who was fired in Memphis, made Sacramento’s front office change its mind.

Ewing ‘Major Candidate’ For Georgetown Opening

Hornets assistant Patrick Ewing has become a “major candidate” to be the next head coach at Georgetown, according to Jon Rothstein of FanragSports.com.

A Hoyas star in the 1980s, Ewing has interviewed for the job several times since the firing of John Thompson III 10 days ago. A source said that Ewing is the first choice of Thompson’s father, who coached him in college and still wields considerable power in the program.

After a Hall of Fame career with the Knicks, Ewing turned to coaching in 2003. He worked as an assistant with the Rockets and Magic before coming to Charlotte in 2013.

 

 

Coaching Notes: Thompson, Ewing, Calipari, L. Brown

After 13 seasons at Georgetown, John Thompson III is out as the team’s head coach, the school confirmed today (Twitter link via Gene Wang of The Washington Post). With the Hoyas’ job now open, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical notes (via Twitter) that Hornets associate head coach Patrick Ewing has never had much interest in NCAA jobs, but it’s possible that the Georgetown job “gives him pause.” According to Wojnarowski (Twitter links), Ewing remains close and loyal to the Thompson family, and came close to landing an NBA job last offseason, so he may very well continue to focus on landing an NBA head coaching job.

Let’s round up a few more coaching-related odds and ends from around the basketball world…

  • Kentucky head coach John Calipari signed another extension with the Wildcats, according to school, which announced in a press release that the two-year amendment to Calipari’s current contract locks him up through March 30, 2024. Calipari’s name occasionally pops up in NBA head coaching rumors, but it doesn’t look like he’s going anywhere anytime soon.
  • Another former NBA coach appears to be seeking out a college job, as Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical tweets that Larry Brown is trying to align himself as an assistant as part of Mike Woodson‘s candidacy for Indiana University’s job. Indiana isn’t interested, per Wojnarowski.
  • Meanwhile, Jon Rothstein of FanRag Sports reports that LIU-Brooklyn reached out to Brown about the school’s head coaching job, and the two sides are expected to meet soon. However, a source tells ESPN’s Jeff Goodman that the interest is from Brown’s side, and LIU-Brooklyn doesn’t consider him a “viable candidate.”
  • This could be the first NBA season in more than 50 years in which no team makes an in-season coaching change, which amazes Magic head coach Frank Vogel, as John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com details. “The fact that no one has, it’s a shock,” Vogel said. “It’s been overly volatile and unreasonably so, quite frankly, over the last five-to-10 years in particular. (No firings) is something that is great for our profession. I think teams need to understand that continuity is important. Everybody wants to win now, but there is strength in continuity.”

Southwest Notes: Grizzlies, Anderson, Terry

The Grizzlies spoke with at least two candidates today as their search for a new coach heats up. Heat assistant David Fizdale came to Memphis for an interview, tweets Marc J. Spears of ESPN.com., as did Portland assistant Nate Tibbetts, according to Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal (Twitter link). Both had been previously named as candidates for the job.

Spurs assistant James Borrego impressed Grizzlies officials during his interview earlier this week, tweets Marc Stein of ESPN.com. Memphis has also held interviews with Spurs assistant Ettore Messina, Hornets assistant Patrick Ewing and recently fired Pacers coach Frank Vogel (Twitter link). The Grizzlies have significant interest in Vogel, according to ESPN, but so does Orlando (Twitter link).

There’s more out of the Southwest Division:

  • Pelicans free agent Ryan Anderson says he was nearly traded to Cleveland at the deadline, relays Brett Dawson of The Advocate. Appearing on “The Vertical Podcast,” Anderson contends the Cavaliers were trying to work out a deal for him before they picked up Channing Frye from Orlando. “There was a very last-minute phone call that I could have gone to Cleveland,” Anderson said. “I would be playing for the Cavs right now.” Anderson said he didn’t ask the Pelicans to trade him because he wants to have the option in free agency of staying in New Orleans. Anderson’s last experience as a free agent came in 2012 when he was restricted and Orlando swung a deal to send him to the Pelicans. This time, he likes the feeling of being in complete control. “I want to enjoy this process and see where New Orleans is at this summer,” Anderson said. “I want to see where, I don’t know, Houston is at or Sacramento or Washington.”
  • The Spurs could be interested in power forward Thomas Robinson if he opts out of his deal with the Nets, according to Jabari Young of The San Antonio Express-News. Robinson would give up a little more than $980K by opting out, but he stands to make much more on the open market with the expected jump in the salary cap. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has talked about the need to rebuild the bench with younger players, and the 25-year-old Robinson, a former teammate of LaMarcus Aldridge in Portland, could be a possibility.
  • Rockets point guard Jason Terry thinks Dwight Howard would be a “great fit” with the Mavericks, but only if he adapts to coach Rick Carlisle, according to The Dallas Morning News“Whatever [Howard’s] role is, he would have to be the one to buy in first, and then you go from there,” Terry said on ESPN Radio’s Cowlishaw and Mosley show. “But he and Dirk [Nowitzki] together? That’s a powerful combination.” The 38-year-old Terry adds that he hopes to play one more season before retiring.

Grizzlies Talk To Spurs Assistant James Borrego

The Grizzlies met with Spurs assistant James Borrego today about their head coaching job, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical. Borrego spent 30 games as interim head coach in Orlando last season before joining the Spurs at the start of this season.

Wojnarowski notes that Borrego is among several assistants the Grizzlies are considering, along with Charlotte’s Patrick Ewing, Miami’s David Fizdale, Portland’s Nate Tibbetts and San Antonio’s Ettore Messina. A source says Memphis is going through initial meetings with candidates and the list could get even larger.

Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger was fired eight days ago after requesting permission to interview for other coaching jobs. The Kings hired him Monday, giving him a four-year deal worth $16MM.