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Patrick Ewing: Ku Klux Klan rally stopped me from picking UNC

Patrick Ewing coachPatrick Ewing is arguably the greatest player in Georgetown basketball history, but what many people may not know is that he was close to becoming a North Carolina Tar Heel. Had it not been for the Ku Klux Klan or some loud creatures of the night, he might have been college teammates with Michael Jordan.

Ewing, who was recently named an associate head coach of the Charlotte Bobcats, spoke to “The Dan Patrick Show” on Thursday about his relationship with Jordan. That led to a question about whether or not he was ever close to committing to UNC.

“I was close,” Ewing said. “North Carolina was a very good school, but when I went down there they put me in that Carolina Inn and there was a big Ku Klux Klan rally in North Carolina when I was there. I’m like, ‘You know what, I’m not coming down here.’ I’m staying my butt back in Boston.’ ”

However, it wasn’t just the presence of an organized racism rally that soured Ewing on the idea of attending school a bit further south. He also hated the bugs.

“And you know in North Carolina you hear all the crickets,” he said. “They stuck me in that Carolina Inn. At night down in North Carolina it gets pitch black and I hear all the crickets and I’m jumping and I’m like what the heck. So I (decided) I’m going back home.”

Ewing did add that his first choice was always Georgetown and his second choice was UCLA, so the KKK and the crickets may not have completely ruined things for UNC. Considering Ewing remembers it all so vividly, it’s certainly safe to assume it played a major role in his decision.

H/T The Big Lead

Patrick Ewing Jr. mad Jason Kidd gets head coaching job but his dad can’t

Patrick Ewing coachPatrick Ewing retired from the NBA in 2003 and went right into coaching as an assistant. The Hall of Famer has been an assistant coach for nine seasons with three different NBA teams, but he has yet to receive a head coaching job despite interviewing with teams.

Jason Kidd went from retiring to becoming a head coach in less than two weeks. The quick jump for Kidd isn’t sitting well with Patrick Ewing Jr., who can’t understand why Kidd got a head coaching job so quickly while his father has not.

Although he came off as angry in the first tweet, Ewing Jr. does wish Kidd well.

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Patrick Ewing reportedly ‘insulted’ by Knicks’ offer to coach D-League team

The Knicks recently extended an offer to Patrick Ewing to become the coach of their D-League team, but Ewing declined. The Hall of Famer has served as an NBA assistant coach over the last eight seasons for four different teams, and a source close to him reportedly says he did not appreciate the offer.

“Patrick has paid his dues,” the source said, according to ESPNNewYork.com. “He was a little insulted.”

Ewing has always wanted to return to New York and said that he would “love to interview” for any job that allows him to return to New York or New Jersey, but the Knicks have passed him up multiple times. They currently have an assistant coaching position open at the NBA level, but Ewing is not believed to be in consideration.

After the Magic fired Stan Van Gundy, they also chose not to bring Ewing back for the 2012-2013 season.

Going from an assistant NBA coaching job to a head coaching job in the D-League isn’t exactly making the jump from the Magic bench to the man in charge at a college like Kentucky. It’s a downward move, so we can understand why Ewing turned it down. We can also understand why he’s insulted that the Knicks would offer him that position but don’t feel he has any value to them as an assistant coach. After eight years, the Knicks’ all-time leading scorer feels he has earned the right to move upward or laterally.

Photo credit: Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE

Patrick Ewing Warns Dwight Howard that Most Nets Fans are Knicks Fans First

At this point, nobody really knows where Dwight Howard will end up next season or before this season is over.  In fact, there is a good chance not even Howard knows.  We’ve all heard rumors about the Lakers, Nets, Mavs and more recently the Clippers.  Although Deron Williams would love it if Superman would join him in Brooklyn next season, former Knicks legend Patrick Ewing has lightly cautioned Howard to stay away from the Nets.

“Most of the fans will still be Knicks fans,’’ Ewing said according to the NY Post. “Brooklyn is a great town, great city. It’s New York. But most of the people, like most people going to Nets games, are Knicks fans. They’re going to have their work cut out for them to try to change the culture.’’

Did I say former Knicks legend Patrick Ewing? What I meant to say was current Orlando Magic assistant coach Patrick Ewing.  It’s no secret Ewing wants Howard to remain in Orlando — as he should.  However, if we know anything about sports fans it’s that most of them go whichever way the wind blows.  There are certainly more Knicks fans in New York than Nets fans and the Knicks have a more defined history, but winning can change that in a hurry.

If Howard joined Williams with the Nets and the team started racking up wins, the fans would come crawling out of the woodwork.  In fact, a rivalry between the Nets and Knicks would probably make basketball that much more exciting and popular in New York.  But hey, you can’t blame the big guy for trying.

H/T I Am a GM