In 1989, the New York Knicks’ Patrick Ewing became the first professional basketball player to form his own shoe company.
New York’s first overall pick in the 1985 draft went on to become Rookie of the Year in 1986, an 11-time All-Star, a two-time Olympic Gold Medalist (1984 and 1992), and a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008. In 2012-2013, he will re-launch his shoe company, Ewing Athletics.
Ewing was relieved of his assistant coaching duties in Orlando when the Magic parted ways with Stan Van Gundy. And, although he showed interest in coaching the Charlotte Bobcats and his old team, the Knicks, Ewing is without a coaching job.
He did, however, turn down the opportunity to coach New York’s D-League affiliate, the Erie BayHawks, amidst reports that he felt slighted by the proposal. A source close to Ewing said, “Patrick has paid his dues. He was a little insulted.” Ewing has served as an assistant coach for the Washington Wizards (2002-2003), Houston Rockets (2003-2006), and the Orlando Magic (2007-2012), and still remains in the hunt for a head coaching position in the NBA.
“I still feel like I can be a very good coach one day and want to get back,” Ewing said. “But being out of a job allows me to focus on my shoe business again.” The first shoe that will be released will be the “33 Hi Retro,” featuring a reversible ankle strap that can be worn around the front or the back of the shoe. The 33 Hi Retro’s will be set at around $100, which is a fair price in today’s shoe market. Ewing Athletics will be competing with Nike (which actually sells 95% of the basketball shoes in this country) Adidas, Reebok, and Under Armour.
I’m glad to see him make a comeback to the shoe game with Ewing Athletics; if only Ewing would lace up those shoes and make a comeback to the Knickerbockers.
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