Before Patrick Ewing became one of the greatest big men in NBA history, he made his mark as one of the greatest forces in college basketball history at Georgetown University.
After retiring from the NBA, Ewing has made his rounds as one of the league’s top assistants, contributing to the success of many teams throughout the years. However, last week, with the firing of John Thompson III, Ewing finally nabbed his first coaching gig ironically at the place where it all started.
This new move has a twofold effect. On the one hand, Ewing finally gets the head coaching job that he has been working so hard for. On the other hand, with Thompson IIi being fired, it ends a long legacy of the Thompson-Georgetown relationship that made the college a legendary basketball power through the years.
Thompson III’s father, John Thompson II, started the legacy, recruiting and molding Hall of Famers like Ewing, Alonzo Mourning and Allen Iverson. In what used to be the vaunted Big East conference, Thompson and his Hoya teams would always be at the top of the league, competing for conference and national championships every season.
When Thompson II stepped down, it was logical that his son, Thompson III would step into his father’s role and take the Hoya reign to continue the tradition. Out of the gate, Thompson was success, still being a heavy competitor in the Big East and national rankings and molding players into big time NBA talent with the likes of Greg Monroe and others who are staples in the current NBA.
However, during the last few seasons, the Hoyas, under Thompson, have faded drastically from the national conscience and became a very mediocre team which is far from the acceptable Georgetown standards that have been set. Due to this drop off, the higher ups felt like a change was needed: Enter Ewing.
With the hiring of Patrick Ewing, it can be looked at as a new link in the Thompson chain of sorts. Ewing is a prodigy of the tutelage of Thompson II and likely will adopt many of the philosophies that Thompson instilled into him and his teams. What Ewing will also bring is not only credibility from a player’s standpoint from a recruiting standpoint (which is desperately needed for Georgetown right now) but he will also bring an NBA attitude and work ethic that will serve the program well in what clearly is a rebuilding stage.
Ewing will also have the support of the Georgetown faithful in whom he is looked at as a hero. This will provide him the comfort and job safety that will allow him to be himself and bring us intangibles to the table that they clearly feel will revitalize the program.
We will see what happens, but for Georgetown, even tho this was a big loss, it is also a big gain.
How do you think Ewing will fare as the head coach of Georgetown? Let’s talk about it here or find me on Twitter @Phenombc3.