Patrick Ewing talks coaching, Heat

Updated: June 12, 2011, 8:45 AM ET
By Jane McManus | ESPNNewYork.com

NEW YORK -- Patrick Ewing said he doesn't know New York Knicks owner James Dolan very well, but given his aspirations to be a head coach some day in the NBA, the former Knicks center said that could change.

"I should probably pick up the phone and give him a call," said Ewing, in New York to tape a July 1 episode of the YES Network's CenterStage with Michael Kay.

[+] EnlargePatrick Ewing
Ellen Wallop/YES NetworkPatrick Ewing wants to be a head coach -- could the Knicks have interest?

Now an assistant coach with Orlando, the Hall of Fame player congratulated former teammate Mark Jackson for being named Golden State's new coach, touched upon LeBron James' struggles in the NBA Finals and lamented the lack of a title in his 15 seasons in New York.

"I would have loved to have a second superstar," Ewing said. "Maybe we could have won a championship."

Right now, Ewing seems to have little connecting him to the Knicks' owners. He still spends the offseason in the area, and his children still attend New Jersey schools. Despite considering this home, he is rarely at Madison Square Garden these days and doesn't talk with Dolan.

"I really don't know him very well," said Ewing, drafted by the Knicks with the first pick of the 1985 draft. "I think it'd be great if I got to know him."

Ewing said he is happy in Orlando, where he coached Dwight Howard, but he doesn't want to be pigeonholed as being a big man's coach only. He hasn't had any formal interviews for head coaching jobs, but that's where he'd like to wind up.

"It's disappointing that I haven't moved to the next step to get a head coaching job, but all I can do is keep going and move on," Ewing said.

For the CenterStage episode, Ewing recalled his days at Georgetown, and coming up to New York to play Big East rival St. John's. He said that Jackson and Chris Mullin are now good friends, but he couldn't resist another dig.

"Definitely I loved coming up here and beating up on St. John's," Ewing said with a laugh.

In 2000, Ewing left the Knicks for Seattle, a move he said he shouldn't have made. He got tired of hearing how the Knicks would have been better off without him, but even in Washington state he was reminded of New York every night he played.

"Every time when they would call my name I kept hearing 'New York Knicks' instead of 'Seattle SuperSonics,'" Ewing said.

As for the present-day NBA, Ewing had a few opinions. Given the uncertainty of the labor situation in the league, Ewing said he doubted that Miami's star power will be duplicated by another team, which might be a good thing.

"It's not great for the NBA to have all the stars on one team," Ewing said.

He compared it to playing on a team with Hakeem Olajuwon, and one of them would have been forced to take a backseat. Ewing did make one guarantee -- not about one of his own teams -- but about the Heat.

"Believe ... me, with that team they're gonna win a title," he said.

James does not yet compare to Michael Jordan -- Kobe Bryant is closer, said Ewing -- but it's too soon to come down so hard on James. Ewing said he was still young, and takes a lot of unfair criticism.

Kay asked the Jamaican-born Ewing his favorite food (curried goat), music (Bob Marley) and the greatest player he ever faced (Jordan). He then asked who Ewing would choose to have as his partner in the proverbial foxhole.

John Starks.

"He's crazy, he's emotional," said Ewing. "But he's got my back."

Jane McManus is a columnist and reporter for ESPNNewYork.com.

Jane McManus has covered New York sports since 1998 and began covering football just before Brett Favre's stint with the Jets. Her work has appeared in Newsday, USA Today, The Journal News and The New York Times. Follow Jane on Twitter.

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