Patrick Ewing was a dominant player in the NBA. The legendary center went to the New York Knicks as the number one pick in the 1986 NBA Draft. Ewing had a fantastic first season, becoming the NBA Rookie of the Year. He also became an NBA All-Star in his rookie season.
After that, Ewing went from strength to strength in the NBA. After a disappointing second season, Ewing returned to his fantastic playing style. He became an All-Star again in the NBA in 1988 and stayed an All-Star for 10 years. He made the 1992 Olympic ‘Dream Team’.
In 1993, Ewing led the New York Knicks to the NBA Eastern Conference Finals. He was going up against the defending two-time NBA Champions, the Chicago Bulls. After two victories in the conference finals, the Knicks looked like they would dethrone the Bulls. But Michael Jordan and the Bulls turned the series around and defeated the Knicks in seven games.
With Michael Jordan retiring in 1993, the Knicks had a golden opportunity to win an NBA Championship. Ewing had an MVP-level season and led the Knicks to the NBA Finals. But he could not get the team over the hurdle of the Houston Rockets.
The Knicks lost in the 1995 Eastern Conference semi-finals to the Indiana Pacers. And that was the last time that Ewing came close to the NBA Championship. For the remainder of his career, he faced playoff disappointment with the Knicks, before eventually joining the Supersonics. He retired with the Orlando Magic in 2002.
Patrick Ewing – Almost a Warrior
Ewing remains a legendary figure in Knicks’ history. His #33 jersey was retired in Madison Square Garden. But Ewing’s career could’ve ended very differently.
On the Opinionated 7-Footers podcast, Ewing revealed that he considered leaving the Knicks to join the Golden State Warriors to form a super-team. He said:
“I had it in my contract that I had to be the fourth-highest paid player in the league. The Celtics robbed me. They did some stuff and I end up not being that. I was thinking about going to Golden State. Imagine me, Chris Mullin, Mitch Richmond, and Tim Hardaway. I thought about doing that but it didn’t work out so I stayed in New York.”
While Ewing did have a great career with the Knicks, one can’t help but wonder; the potential super team in the Golden State Warriors could’ve been the most serious threat to the dominant Chicago Bulls in the NBA.
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