Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan is giving old friend Patrick Ewing another shot to continue his NBA coaching career.
The Bobcats have reached an agreement in principle with the Hall of Famer to become their new associate head coach, said a person familiar with the situation.
The person spoke to The Associated Press Tuesday on condition of anonymity because the hire has not yet been made official.
The 50-year-old Ewing and Jordan were teammates on the 1992 USA Olympic ”Dream Team” that won gold at the Barcelona Games.
Ewing was out of coaching last year after the Magic decided to let go of Stan Van Gundy and overhaul their roster while embarking on a major rebuilding project following the 2011-12 season.
Ewing spent part of last season working as an NBA broadcaster.
Before that Ewing worked for five years as an assistant coach with the Magic alongside Steve Clifford, who was hired as the Bobcats head coach last month.
Ewing has nine years of experience as an NBA assistant coach. He’s also worked as an assistant coach for the Washington Wizards and Houston Rockets.
Ewing interviewed for the Bobcats head coaching position in 2012, but Jordan hired Mike Dunlap instead. Ewing also interviewed for the Detroit Pistons head coaching position in 2011. However, that job was given to Lawrence Frank.
Ewing has said in the past he wants a chance to become a head coach and being the second in charge with the Bobcats could afford him that opportunity down the road.
He will be the first assistant coach hired by Clifford, who looks to dramatically improve a Bobcats team that finished 21-61 last season under Dunlap and is 28-120 over the past two seasons.
The Bobcats will almost certainly lean on Ewing’s expertise as a former center to help develop the low post games of Byron Mullens and Bismack Biyombo. Charlotte hasn’t had a true dominant center and general manager Rich Cho said earlier this offseason the team will be looking to ”add bigs” to the roster.
Ewing, a native of Kingston, Jamaica, was an 11-time NBA All-Star and the league’s Rookie of the Year in 1986.
In college, he helped Georgetown to the NCAA Division I national championship in 1984 and was named the Naismith College Player of the Year in 1985.