Orlando Magic assistant Patrick Ewing will interview for the Charlotte Bobcats head-coaching job, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.
The Bobcats are working to set up a meeting with Ewing once the Magic are finished in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Ewing is a close friend of Charlotte owner Michael Jordan, and several sources believe the Hall of Fame center will turn out to be a serious candidate for the opening. Charlotte will make pitches to Golden State Warriors assistant Mike Malone and former Portland Trail Blazers coach Nate McMillan, but will likely hire its next coach from a pool of candidates like Ewing who have been less in demand for head-coaching jobs.
Ewing has worked eight seasons as an NBA assistant, including the past five on Stan Van Gundy’s staff with the Magic. Detroit Pistons general manager Joe Dumars interviewed Ewing for his franchise’s head-coaching job last spring and was impressed with him.
Charlotte officials flew to the Bay Area to meet with Malone on Tuesday. Malone is a coveted candidate who will likely be on the short list of most coaching openings this spring. He was the runner-up for the Warriors' job that went to Mark Jackson last year. The Warriors then made Malone the league's highest-paid assistant at $750,000 a year, hiring him to lead Jackson's staff.
Charlotte has to sell candidates like Malone and McMillan that Jordan is willing to make the financial commitment to build a winning organization. Charlotte will have to commit money to coaching salaries, as well as sell a plan to stock the franchise with talent.
Most of the better candidates will want to wait until the May 30 draft lottery to see if Charlotte will win the No. 1 overall pick to take Kentucky center Anthony Davis. The Bobcats parted ways with coach Paul Silas after a season that saw them finish with the lowest winning percentage (.106) in NBA history.
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