Sources: Kings to interview Patrick Ewing for head coaching job

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The Sacramento Kings will interview Charlotte Hornets associate head coach Patrick Ewing for their head coaching vacancy this week, league sources told The Vertical.

Ewing has progressed as a serious head coaching candidate in recent years, increasing in responsibilities and league-wide respect across his three seasons as Steve Clifford’s top assistant with Charlotte.

Charlotte plays Miami on Sunday in a Game 7 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals series.

Patrick Ewing looks on during a Charlotte Hornets game early this season. (Getty)
Patrick Ewing looks on during a Charlotte Hornets game early this season. (Getty)

What makes Ewing an intriguing candidate for Sacramento officials is his potential ability to command the respect of mercurial All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins, league sources said. Ewing, a Hall of Fame center, has the unique blend of his own physical and playing stature to go with a strong coaching pedigree as part of staffs with Clifford, Stan Van Gundy and Jeff Van Gundy.

Ewing has helped to develop several top centers, including Yao Ming (Houston), Dwight Howard (Orlando) and Al Jefferson (Charlotte).

Sacramento VP of Basketball Operations Vlade Divac has expressed to people a desire to have three finalists to bring to ownership for a final round of interviews, league sources told The Vertical. For now, Sacramento is still running through interviews with an initial, broad list of candidates.

Before joining Clifford in Charlotte, Ewing had been an assistant with Orlando (2007-12), Houston (2003-06) and Washington (2002-03).

This will be the third time that Ewing has interviewed for a head coaching job. He met with Charlotte (2011) and Detroit (2011) in past years.

Sacramento has met with several ex-head coaches and assistants, including Sam Mitchell, Vinny Del Negro, and Mike Woodson. Indiana Pacers assistant Nate McMillian – who had a successful run at Portland’s coach  is expected to meet with Kings officials, too.

Owner Vivek Ranadive has been most intrigued with former Houston and Minnesota coach Kevin McHale, but McHale has been cautious in his approach to the job, league sources said.