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November 08, 2013

Patrick Ewing nervous to coach tonight, like he never was as a player

    Early Friday morning Charlotte Bobcats associate head coach Patrick Ewing was getting annoyed that his cell phone kept ringing.

    “I thought, ‘Who in the hell is this calling me this time of the morning?’ It was (head coach Steve Clifford), telling me he was experiencing chest pains and was in the hospital.”

    Clifford was admitted overnight, and following tests, doctors inserted two stents in his heart. That made Ewing the acting coach Friday night against the team he once starred for, the New York Knicks.

    “It’s ironic that I played 15 years in New York and my first opportunity to coach is against the Knicks,” Ewing said pre-game. “I am nervous. When I played I was never nervous before a game, but as a coach the butterflies are flowing.”

    Ewing called one of his former coaches, now-television analyst Jeff Van Gundy, who told Ewing, “Just take a deep breath and relax. You’ll be fine.”

            Ewing’s only previous head-coaching experience was in summer league. He got a call from Clifford, a rookie head coach this season, after Clifford’s procedure.

    “He sounded good – cracking jokes trying to calm me down. And he’s ready to get out” of the hospital, Ewing said.

    Ewing said hopefully Clifford is released Sunday. The Bobcats’ next game is Monday at home against the Atlanta Hawk. How long Clifford is away from the team is yet to be determined

Posted by Observer Sports on November 8, 2013 at 06:09 PM | Permalink


Good luck Patrick!

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Nov 8, 2013 6:20:05 PM

they played well overall......i have to think the coaching confusion hurt us more than it would in the next few games.

ewing got killed by woodson putting bargani on biyombo and then when ewing finally adjusted entirely too late and put in zeller, he'd go with stoudemire or martin who would just pick on the rookie mistakes.

tough decision for ewing because of how well biyombo was rebounding and how badly the knicks were killing us on offensive glass. felt like he had to keep him in the game even though bargani is an impossible matchup for biz. vogel would never ask hibbert to guard bargani and i doubt mchale would ask howard or asik to do so either. then again, they would probably bang him on the other end and get him out of the game that way. even with biyombo's offensive limitations, that should have been done.

walker, henderson, mkg, and mcroberts all made big plays and kept us in the game. cannot understand why tolliver played so much and adrien didn't. adrien was the most needed played because he could guard stoudemire or bargani and rebound at the same time.

mkg detractors....i hope you all saw the array of jumpers he netted. dude was pulling em with confidence. we haven't seen that in a while.

Posted by: charlottean | Nov 9, 2013 8:13:17 AM

Not surprised by the outcome. Knicks were a desperate team even this early in the season. Monday will be the game to determine where this team is. An opponent they should beat at home with a couple of days rest. Definitely need the coach back. He makes a huge difference with this team.

Posted by: McBob | Nov 9, 2013 8:24:49 AM

More than anything else, this game exposed our team's worst weakness: three point shooting. We don't have a quick fix for it, and I'm certainly not looking for a quick fix (like, some quick trade). But, towards next season, this will have to be addressed.

The perimeter defense was weak in this game.
When Bargnani is roaming behind the ark, you should take Biz out, and have Cody on Bargnani.
When Bargnani is out, and the Knicks bring in their stronger PFs (Amare, KMart), you're better off with Biz or Adrien defending inside. Gotta look for the match ups.

Sessions had his best shooting game this season. He's not always finding the bucket the way he did last night. But he played 15 minutes only, after averaging 22 minutes in the previous 5 games...

I'm not trying to be nasty towards Patrick Ewing, who is a HoFer whom I really appreciate, and a good man too.
It's very tough, being called up at the last moment to replace the head coach, for your first try as an acting head coach.
But I had to say, some game time decisions could've been better.

Posted by: Sandy | Nov 9, 2013 1:54:52 PM

I want to send again my best wishes to coach Clifford, for a full and speedy recovery.

Posted by: Sandy | Nov 9, 2013 1:58:17 PM

sandy - that's exactly what I'm saying about the defensive matchup.

I don't know that we needed to match their shooting, but they won the game on theirs, no doubt. Having a better matchup for bargani would have eliminated all of the open looks felton, pirgoni, and others got off of the drive and dish and the post and kick out by melo.

hard to pull the guy that had like 9 or 10 rebounds at halftime, but it was definitely necessary.

i blame ewing for not adjusting sooner, but he gets a circumstantial pass. being thrown in the fire less than 24 before a game is pretty brutal. especially to get thrown THAT kind of curveball.

and how the eff did bargani have 5 blocks? seriously.

Posted by: charlottean | Nov 9, 2013 3:41:57 PM

Why was Ewing given the reins? Bob Weiss was a head coach in the NBA for 7 years. Heck, even L.E. Silas has a number of games of head coaching experience to draw on.

Why Ewing? Throwing him a bone at the expense of what's best for the team?

Please explain to me how this isn't another bad decision by Air Min, Yes Co. & Cho...

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Nov 10, 2013 10:52:05 AM

Because Ewing was hired as the Associate Head Coach, NASTAR99.

Posted by: Downtown Sports | Nov 10, 2013 10:59:24 AM

That's no explanation...

"Associate Head Coach"

What does that title mean? 2nd in command?

If so, by definition shouldn't the 2nd in command be the most prepared and capable coach on the staff (other than head coach obviously) in the event the head coach can't make the start?

I'm a big fan of Patrick but last night was he the best available coach on that bench to take the lead role?

Or were Air Min, Yes Co. and Cho throwing him a bone at the expense of the fans and the players?

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Nov 10, 2013 4:43:42 PM

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