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NBA 75 Series: #44 Patrick Ewing

Updated: Mar 29, 2022

Ranked #44 in my NBA 75 Greatest Players of All Time is a true warrior, competitor, and one of the greatest big men of all time, an individual who carried the New York Knicks for years, and is Patrick Ewing. Ewing was born on August 5, 1962, in Kingston, Jamaica to Carl and Dorothy Ewing. He excelled at cricket and soccer growing up as a kid, which would help with his footwork and mobility later in his basketball career.

In 1975, at 12 years old, Ewing and his family would move to the United States and join his family in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Ewing's basketball beginnings would begin at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School with the help of John Fountain. At first he was clumsy and awkward on the court, but eventually grew in his body and became a highly coveted prospect in the nation due to his size as a 7-footer, his athleticism, and raw talent, helping him to become the National High School Player of the Year in 1981.

Ewing would commit to play for the Georgetown Hoyas under legendary coach John Thompson, who would carve and mold Ewing into a two-way force and one of the best college players of all time. Ewing would have an amazing collegiate career, helping lead the Hoyas to three appearances to the national championship game, ultimately coming up victorious in 1984. He was voted the Most Outstanding Player of the tournament in 1984.

The awards didn’t stop there, as Ewing would be named a first team All-American three times, 4-time Big East Defensive Player of the Year, 2-time Big East Player of the Year, 4-time All-Big East team selection, and the National College Player of the Year in 1985.

After one of the best college careers of all time, Ewing would be selected with the first pick in the 1985 NBA Draft by the New York Knicks in the first year of the NBA Draft Lottery where he was considered the consensus top pick. He would show Knicks fans flashes of the tantalizing talent they would have for the foreseeable future by averaging 20 points, 9 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks per game in just 50 games of action to garner the 1986 Rookie of the Year.

Ultimately, Ewing was the ultimate warrior and arguably the greatest New York Knick of all time, he was one of the best shooting centers to ever play the game, with the signature turnaround jumper of his, while also being a defensive force on the other end. His knees unfortunately sapped his athleticism from his college and early NBA years, but he was still one of the top centers in the league.

Ewing would never win that championship in New York, he, and the fanbase have been craving for since the Reed-Frazier days, due to Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon, who beat him in the 1994 Finals. He is an 11-time All-Star, a member of the 1992 Dream Team, seven-time All-NBA, three-time All-Defense, the 1986 ROTY, and a member of the 50th and 75th Anniversary teams.

Ewing left the game as the Knicks all time leader in points (23,665), rebounds (10,759), blocks (2,758), and steals (1,061). He was a true competitor and had the heart of a champion.

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