• Print

Ewing leaves Rockets

Former Knicks center cites desire to spend more time with family



HOUSTON -- Former New York Knicks great Patrick Ewing is stepping down as an assistant coach for the Houston Rockets.

Ewing, who spent the past three seasons in Houston, said Wednesday he is resigning from the team's coaching staff to spend more time with his family.

"It was a difficult decision to resign because I enjoy coaching," Ewing said. "I love working with Jeff (Van Gundy) and the rest of the staff and our players are really good guys. But my children are getting older and I want to spend more time with them. I'm sure at some point I will get back into coaching, but right now I need to focus completely on my kids."

The former center coached one season as an assistant in Washington before joining Van Gundy's staff in 2003. He worked with individual players and contributed to practice and game preparation with the Rockets.

During his playing career, Ewing was an 11-time All-Star and was named one of the NBA's 50 greatest players. He guided the Knicks to the NBA Finals in 1994 and 1999.

"Shortly after the season, Patrick spoke to me about his desire to resign due to family considerations," Van Gundy said. "I asked him to take a few months to think about his decision. After a great deal of thought, he was convinced that this was the right decision for him and his children.

"While we are disappointed that he won't be here with us this season, I couldn't be more proud of his decision," Van Gundy continued. "Patrick was a great player and was developing into a fine coach, but his family has always been his top priority and we all support him in his decision."