Georgetown fired John Thompson III – a totally reasonable move considering the program’s fall, but also a stunning decision considering a Thompson had led the Hoyas 40 of the last 45 years.
John Thompson Jr. still holds influence at Georgetown, and there will be desire to limit the radicality of this shakeup. That’s no easy task in what had become a family program.
A possible solution: Hire Patrick Ewing, who starred under the elder Thompson, excelled with the Knicks and is now associate head coach of the Hornets.
Georgetown officials plan to consider the head-coaching candidacy of the university’s most legendary basketball alumnus, Patrick Ewing, sources told The Vertical.
Ewing, 54, has long been committed to pursuing an NBA head-coaching job and moved closer to getting one with the Sacramento Kings in the spring. Only the sudden availability of Dave Joerger, whom Memphis fired, stood between Ewing and a formal offer, league sources said.
Ewing – who has worked under Steve Clifford in Charlotte, Stan Van Gundy with the Magic, Jeff Van Gundy with the Rockets and Doug Collins with the Wizards – has long coveted an NBA head-coaching job. He had an illustrious career and put in his time as an assistant. Not long ago, that would have gotten him a top job. Now, it merely gets him interviews, and Ewing has yet to close.
Will that change? His close call with the Kings is a positive indicator, but they were desperate with established coaches avoiding them. It doesn’t mean other NBA teams will pick Ewing over a bevy of options.
Georgetown would give Ewing a chance to prove he can lead an entire program after being pigeonholed as a big-man coach. If he wins there, NBA teams would become more interested. His deep professional experience, playing and coaching, means he won’t risk being labeled just a college coach. Plus, returning to his alma mater could be fulfilling.
But the Hoyas could look elsewhere rather than handing the job to someone with no college-coaching experience. As Ewing surely knows by now, there’s no easy path to the top for him.