As it turns out, the "Space Jam" reunion won't be happening with the Charlotte Bobcats.
After an interview with Charlotte management, owner Michael Jordan personally reached out to Patrick Ewing to tell him he's been eliminated as a candidate to coach the Bobcats, a league source told Yahoo! Sports.
Charlotte is waiting to see whether it will win the NBA draft lottery on Wednesday night and get the chance to draft Kentucky's Anthony Davis before it begins a second round of interviews for the opening, sources said.
Golden State assistant Mike Malone, ex-Portland coach Nate McMillan and Hall of Fame coach Jerry Sloan are among the most prominent candidates for the job.
Ewing, an assistant coach for the past five seasons in Orlando, is a close friend of Jordan's, and that may have actually worked against the Hall of Fame center in the hiring process. Jordan has been subject to biting criticism for hiring too many cronies and yes men through the years, and merely inviting Ewing for the interview started to inspire those kind of shots at Jordan again.
Despite being longtime rivals with the Chicago Bulls and New York Knicks, Jordan and Ewing had a strong, close relationship. They shared the same agent, David Falk, and Jordan gave Ewing a prominent part in his animated movie "Space Jam" in 1996.
Nevertheless, Ewing has constructed a track record as an assistant for Stan and Jeff Van Gundy in Orlando and Houston over the past nine seasons. He impressed Detroit general manager Joe Dumars in an interview for the Pistons' head coaching job last spring. With Stan Van Gundy recently fired in Orlando, Ewing will be searching for an assistant coaching job elsewhere this season.
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Charlotte was 7-59 in the 2011-12 season, one of the worst records in NBA history. The Bobcats' roster is devoid of talent, and that is one of several factors that have most top coaching candidates reluctant to accept an offer. Coaches interviewing for the Bobcats job have expressed questions about Jordan's financial commitment to putting together a winning team.
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