Patrick Ewing bringing back his line of shoes
by Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY Sports
Patrick Ewing lost his Orlando Magic assistant coach’s job when the team fired head coach Stan Van Gundy after last season.
Not enamored with the coaching jobs presented to him in the offseason, including head coach of D-League’s Erie Bayhawks, Ewing decided to take a year off from coaching.
The basketball hall of famer started a construction company with a former Georgetown classmate, and he also relaunched his basketball shoe under the umbrella of Ewing Athletics.
In August, Ewing brought back the Ewing 33 Hi — he wore No. 33 for Georgetown and the New York Knicks — and earlier this month, Ewing debuted two new hightops: one pair in Georgetown colorways and the other pair in Jamaica colorways.
“This was a good idea, and it was something good to do,” Ewing said. “Not coaching this year, I had to have something to fill my days.”
The shoe line originally relaunched in 33 stores in the USA, but has expanded to 46, and the shoes are also sold in Canada and Europe.
The shoe almost did not relaunch. Ewing had a bad experience with previous shoe endeavors. His deal with adidas fell apart in the late 1980s and he was bought out of his contract.
He hooked up with Pony founder Robert Mueller and started Ewing Athletics, which had initial success. Sales were good, but internal strife and distribution problems led to the company’s demise in the mid-1990s.
The experience left Ewing with “a bad taste,” he said. “I just didn’t feel like trusting anybody. There had been other people trying to get me to relaunch for many years now. I just didn’t want to.”
Over the years, investors have approached Ewing and his longtime agent, David Falk, about restarting Ewing Athletics.
Longtime sneaker executives, David Goldberg and Mike Packer, kept calling Falk and even when Ewing resisted, they kept calling.
“They were very, very persistent and were trying to get me to relaunch the shoe,” Ewing said. “They talked me down. They believe in it and work hard at it.
“I’m just very happy the shoe is doing very well and happy to be … [For more on Patrick Ewing bringing back his line of shoes, click here.]