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Patrick Ewing Appreciation Post

Patrick Ewing captivated New York City from Day 1. (Photo by Noren Trotman/ NBAE/ Getty Images)

Patrick Ewing captivated New York City from Day 1. (Photo by Noren Trotman/ NBAE/ Getty Images)

There aren’t enough words around to describe what Patrick Ewing means to the Knicks and New York City. But on his 53rd birthday, you better believe I’m gonna try my hardest to do so.

When I see or hear people talk about the Kingston, Jamaica native it isn’t his stats that come to mind first for me, although they certainly are impressive. It’s his passion, his determination, his will to win at all costs that I think of first and foremost. He left everything out on the Madison Square Garden floor every single game and stopped at nothing to achieve the ultimate goal of winning a championship. He wasn’t afraid to get in his teammates’ faces to fire them up and relished the chance to go up against the NBA’s great centers. As a native New Yorker I loved him for that, and I loved that his teammates followed suit and made for an exciting run in the 1990’s.

For fifteen seasons, Ewing was the heartbeat of the New York Knicks. He took a team that was toiling away in the cellar of the standings and made them perennial contenders with 12 straight playoff appearances. He brought out the best in his teammates and made believers out of millions of the most passionate basketball fans in the world. Although his Knicks career did not result in the championship everyone hoped for, it’s tough to say that the Georgetown alum was a failure as a Knick. The accolades speak for themselves:

  • 11-time All-Star
  • 1985-86 Rookie of the Year
  • 1985-86 All-Rookie 1st Team
  • Three-time 2nd-Team All-Defense
  • Six-time 2nd-Team All-NBA
  • 1989-90 1st-Team All-NBA
  • Two-time Olympic Gold Medalist (1984, 1992)
  • Named one of NBA’s 50 Greatest Players in 1997
  • Two-time Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame inductee
  • New York Knicks all-time leader in nearly every major category



The decade and a half Patrick spent as a Knick was also full of memorable moments which cemented his legacy. Who could forget his three-pointer in the Boston Garden that sealed a playoff series against the Celtics in 1990? Or his warrior-like performance against the Bulls in the ’92 playoffs after spraining his ankle? We all remember his putback dunk versus Indiana in 1994 that clinched the Eastern Conference title and punched New York’s ticket to its first NBA Finals since 1973. It’s these and other moments we’ve witnessed that show that Ewing belongs in the same class as other great center like Russell, Chamberlain, Abdul-Jabbar, Olajuwon and the rest.

All in all, Patrick Ewing was everything New Yorkers could hope for when he arrived 30 years ago. He helped bring the Knicks back from mediocrity to prominence, made it cool to play hard-nosed defense, and revived a franchise that was in desperate need of a superstar. We can only hope that he will find his way back to MSG and the Knicks in some way one day.

Happy 53rd birthday, Big Fella. Thank you for bringing basketball back to New York City.

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