The Charlotte Bobcats made what most people agree was a good hire in bringing in Steve Clifford, a long-time assistant in the NBA, as their new head coach. Now, as Clifford starts to fill his staff and the Bobcats look to continue their extensive rebuilding process, they seem to have made another smart hire by naming Patrick Ewing their newest assistant coach.
Ewing was the number one overall pick in the 1985 NBA Draft by the New York Knicks and had an illustrious playing career as an 11-time All-Star. In his 17-year career, he averaged 21 points, 9.8 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game on 50.4 percent shooting. He’s also been an assistant coach since his retirement in 2002, spending time with the Washington Wizards and serving with Clifford on the bench of both the Houston Rockets and Orlando Magic.
Though most of the stories talk about Ewing joining Bobcats owner Michael Jordan, his teammate on the “Dream Team,” many have overlooked the fact that Ewing will be great for Charlotte considering some of their major issues.
Ewing, as a former center that had a lot of success on both ends of the floor, definitely understands the intricacies of playing in the frontcourt in the NBA. Considering that the Bobcats have a young and unsuccessful frontcourt currently, Ewing will be able to impart his wisdom to players like Bismack Biyombo and Byron Mullens that will help them improve their games and make them more effective in their particular niches.
Another interesting aspect of the Ewing hiring is how it might affect DeMarcus Cousins, who the Bobcats have been rumored to be interested in trading for. With Cousins’ behavioral issues as a young center in this league, Ewing could serve as a mentor for him if Cousins were to come to the Bobcats. Not only would Ewing be able to help him polish his game, but the new assistant would also be able to teach Cousins how to behave like a professional.
Whether Cousins comes to Charlotte or not, though, is trivial as of right now. With the paltry status quo in Charlotte’s frontcourt, they need a lot of work in how to effectively play as big men in the NBA. Who better to help teach them the ropes than one of the better centers in the past 30 years?