Patrick Ewing made top dollar during his years as the New York Knicks franchise player. Ewing, who entered the NBA after Georgetown as perhaps the most hyped college player in history, never disappointed. The Knicks pegged their championship hopes on the broad shoulders of No. 33 for more than a decade — and if it weren’t for a certain No. 23 in Chicago, Ewing would no doubt have some rings. A first ballot Hall of Famer and Dream Team alum, Ewing is a basketball lifer whose list of hoops accolades is as long as his wingspan. He has been coaching in the NBA since 2002, when he retired as a player — no gap year for Patrick. Ewing’s high earner status during his career is offered as testimony to his unrelenting dedication to the game — as a coach he’s not chasing a paycheck (though those are handsome these days) but instead working diligently to achieve even more of his basketball goals.
Around the NBA, a lot of people are rooting for Ewing to get his chance. Now there are reports that the Memphis Grizzlies have interviewed Ewing for the team’s vacant head coaching spot. (Interestingly, the Grizzlies have one of the few true traditional centers in the league in 7-footer Marc Gasol.) Ewing has had great success in the assistant ranks — most recently backing up Steve Clifford as the Charlotte Hornets had a breakout 2015-16 season. He has been on the coaching staffs of the Wizards, Rockets, and Magic — in addition to Charlotte.