Patrick Ewing is a legend in New York City. The No. 1 overall pick of the New York Knicks in the 1985 NBA draft, Ewing played 15 years in the Big Apple, which included 11 All-Star appearances, and made the team a perennial playoff contender. He is the leading scorer in franchise history.
Since he retired from playing in 2002, the 7-footer joined the coaching ranks, where he served 15 years as an NBA assistant. In 2017, Ewing returned to coach his alma mater, the Georgetown Hoyas. This week, the Hoyas are playing in Madison Square Garden for the Big East Tournament, and after his team’s quarterfinal upset over Villanova, the NBA Hall of Famer went off on how MSG security has treated him since he arrived.
Patrick Ewing is a top center in NBA history with New York Knicks
After a stellar career with the Georgetown Hoyas, which included three first-team All-American honors and three NCAA Tournament final appearances, the New York Knicks selected Patrick Ewing with the No. 1 pick in the 1985 NBA draft.
That first season, despite various injuries, Ewing still averaged 20 points a contest and was named the Rookie of the Year. He also made his first All-Star appearance.
For the next 14 seasons, Patrick Ewing was a dominant force in the Eastern Conference for the Knicks. He made the All-Star game 10 times and is the team’s all-time leading scorer, but more importantly, made the team a perennial playoff team, including four appearances in the conference finals. In 1993 and 1999, the Knicks made it to the NBA Finals, losing both times.
Despite no championship trophy, Ewing is revered in New York for his contributions to the Knicks, and his jersey deservedly hangs in the rafters at Madison Square Garden.
Patrick Ewing becomes head coach at alma mater
Upon retiring after the 2001-02 season, Patrick Ewing transitioned into coaching and joined the Washington Wizards. For the next 14 seasons, Ewing worked with the Rockets, Magic, and Hornets as an assistant coach.
In 2017, Ewing returned to the place where it all began when he was named the head coach at Georgetown University. In the three seasons prior to 2021, the Hoyas have struggled. The best season came in 2018-19, when the team finished 19-14 for the season and bowed out in the NIT first round.
Both last season and this season, the team finished with a below .500 record. Patrick Ewing and the Hoyas posted a 10-12 record this year, including 7-9 in Big East action, and earned a No. 8 seed in the Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden.
Goes on post-game rant about security not recognizing him
After taking down No. 9-seeded Marquette in the first round of the Big East Tourney, Patrick Ewing and Georgetown faced the No. 1 seed in Villanova in the quarterfinals. The Hoyas shocked the Wildcats, winning on a pair of late free throws by freshman guard Dante Harris.
Following the game, Ewing was understandably pleased by his team’s performance, but made it a point to mention to the media something he wasn’t happy about, and that was the Garden’s security.
“I do want to say one thing,” a visibly frustrated Ewing told the media. “I thought this was my building. And I feel terrible that I’m getting stopped, accosted, and asked for passes. Everybody in this building should know who the hell I am. And I’m getting stopped, I can’t move around this building and I’m like, ‘What the hell? Is this Madison Square Garden?’ I’m going to going to have to call Mr. Dolan and say, ‘Geez, is my number in the rafters or what?'”
Knicks owner James Dolan released a statement later in response to Ewing’s comments. “We all know, respect and appreciate what he means to The Garden and New York,” the statement read. “Good luck to him and his Hoyas in the Big East semi-finals.”
Patrick Ewing is remembered by many basketball fans 35 and older for his achievements in a Knicks uniform. He’s now going to be remembered by those who didn’t previously know him as the Georgetown coach whose post-game rant about not being known went viral on social media.