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Patrick Aloysius Ewing (born August 5, 1962) is an American retired Hall of Famemarker basketball player and current assistant coach for the National Basketball Association's Orlando Magic. He played most of his career with the NBA's New York Knicks as their starting center and played briefly with the Seattle SuperSonics and Orlando Magic. Ewing was named as the 16th greatest college player of all time by ESPN. In a 1996 poll celebrating the 50th anniversary of the NBA, Ewing was selected as one of the 50 Greatest Basketball Players of All Time. On April 7, 2008 he was elected to the National Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusettsmarker. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame on September 5, 2008 along with former NBA coach Pat Riley and former Houston Rockets center, Hakeem Olajuwon. His number 33 was retired by the Knicks in 2003.

Biography

Early life

Born in Kingston, Jamaicamarker, Ewing excelled at cricket and soccer. He was 11 years old when he arrived in the United States with his family, settling in Cambridge, Massachusettsmarker. He learned to play basketball at Cambridge Rindge and Latin. In order to prepare for college, Ewing joined the MIT-Wellesley Upward Bound Program. Upward Bound is a federally-funded college-prep program for disadvantaged high school students. He went to Georgetown Universitymarker in Washington, D.C.marker.

College career

Ewing, one of the most highly touted freshmen ever, signed a letter of intent to accept a scholarship to play for Coach John Thompson at Georgetown University. As a freshman during the 1981-1982 season, Ewing became one of the first college players to start and star on the varsity team as a freshman. In the 1982 NCAA final against the University of North Carolinamarker, Ewing was called for goaltending several times in the first half, setting the tone for the Hoyas and making his presence felt. The Hoyas had a shot at winning the game until Fred Brown threw an infamous bad pass to James Worthy at the tail end of the game. In the 1983-84 season, Ewing and Georgetown took the NCAA title with an 84-75 win over the University of Houstonmarker. In Ewing's senior year of 1985, Georgetown was ranked number one in the nation and was heavily favored to beat unranked Villanovamarker in the title game, but the Wildcats shot a record 78.6 percent from the floor (22 for 28) to upset the Hoyas 66-64. Ewing was one of the best college basketball players of his era, as Georgetown reached the championship game of the NCAA tournament three out of four years. He was a first-team All-American.

NBA career

New York Knicks

In 1985, the NBA instituted the first ever Draft Lottery to prevent teams from deliberately losing games to secure a better chance of obtaining the ultimate prize, Patrick Ewing. The Lottery gave the lowest seeded team more chances of winning the first choice pick. The New York Knicks won the Draft Lottery of 1985, and selected Ewing first overall.

Although injuries marred his first year in the league, he was named NBA Rookie of the Year, averaging 20 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 blocks per game. Soon after he was considered one of the premier centers in the league. Ewing enjoyed a successful career; eleven times named an NBA All-Star, once named to the All-NBA First Team, six times a member of the All-NBA Second Team, and named to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team three times. He was a member of the original Dream Team at the 1992 Olympic Games. He was also given the honor of being named one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history.

The Knicks played the defending NBA Champion Chicago Bulls and Michael Jordan in the 1992 Eastern Conference Semifinals. Ewing was unstoppable in game one, finishing with 34 points, 16 rebounds, and six blocks, and the Knicks defeated the Bulls 94-89. With his team facing elimination, game six is regarded as one of the greatest of Ewing's career. The Knicks trailed 3-games-to-2 in the series and Ewing was limited physically by a bad ankle sprain, but he helped beat the Bulls by scoring 27 points. NBC Announcer Marv Albert called it a "Willis Reed-type performance" but the Knicks ultimately were eliminated in game 7.

In a 1993 game between the Knicks and the Charlotte Hornets, the 7'0" (2.14 m) Ewing suffered a moment of embarrassment when guard Tyrone "Muggsy" Bogues, who stands a mere 5'3" (1.60 m), managed to block his shot. In 1993, it seemed the Knicks were finally on their way to the NBA Finals when they took a 2-0 lead over Michael Jordan's Chicago Bulls. Both teams battled well, each winning on its home court. However, the Bulls stunned the Ewing-led Knicks, winning Game 5 of the series in New York after Ewing's teammate, Charles Smith, was repeatedly denied a basket down low by Bull defenders on the game's final possession. The Bulls would go on to win Game 6 and then claim their third straight NBA title. This would be one more season in which Ewing had to deal with no championships, despite the fact that the Knicks had the best regular season record in the Eastern Conference at 60-22 and had the second best record in the NBA, behind the Phoenix Suns, who were 62-20.

With Jordan out of the league, 1993-1994 was considered a wide open year in the NBA, and Ewing had declared that 1994 would be the Knicks' year. He was a key contributor to the Knicks' run to the 1994 NBA Finals, in which the Knicks - in the finals for the first time since 1973 - lost in the final seconds of Games 6 and 7 to Hakeem Olajuwon's Houston Rockets. The Knicks, with Ewing leading them, had to survive a grueling trek through the playoffs simply to reach the finals. They defeated Scottie Pippen's Bulls in seven games in the 1994 Eastern Conference Semifinals (all seven games were won by the home team), and defeated Reggie Miller's Indiana Pacers in the conference finals, which also took seven games to decide. In the finals, the Knicks stole Game 2 in Houston, but couldn't hold court at home, dropping Game 3 at the Garden, which then hosted the New York Rangers first Stanley Cup celebration in 54 years with their win over the Vancouver Canucks in Game 7 of their finals. The Knicks then won the next two games to return to Houston ahead 3-2. However, the Rockets won the next two games and cost not only the Knicks the championship, but also New York City the distinction of having both NBA and NHL championships in the same year. Ewing made the most of his playoff run by setting a record for most blocked shots in a finals series (only later to be broken by Shaquille O'Neal). He also set an NBA Finals record for most blocked shots in a single game, with 8 (which Dwight Howard surpassed.

The following year, a potentially game-tying three-foot finger roll attempt by Ewing rimmed out of the basket in the dwindling seconds of Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, resulting in a loss to the Indiana Pacers.

In the 1997-98 season, Ewing suffered a potentially career-ending wrist injury in a game against the Milwaukee Bucks, but tried to make a return during the playoffs. Ewing missed most of the regular season but returned just in time to see the Knicks, who entered the playoffs as the #7 seed in the East, advance past the Miami Heat in the first round of the playoffs (and avenge a controversial series defeat in the 1996-97 playoffs). Ewing could not lead the Knicks any further, however, and they fell to the Indiana Pacers in the next round.

The following season, Ewing and the Knicks qualified as the East's #8 seed in a lockout-shortened campaign. Although battling an Achilles tendon injury, Ewing helped lead the Knicks to another victory over the Heat in the first round of the playoffs. They followed that up with a sweep over Atlanta, and defeated the Pacers in the conference finals despite Ewing's injury finally forcing him out of action. The Knicks couldn't complete their Cinderella run, as they lost in the finals to the San Antonio Spurs.

In Ewing's final season as a Knick (99-00), the team finished as the #3 seed in the East behind the Pacers and Heat. The team advanced to the conference finals again, defeating the Toronto Raptors and the Heat for a third straight year, but could not defeat the Pacers and fell in 6 games.

After the Knicks

In 2000, he left the Knicks as part of a trade to the Seattle SuperSonics. In the trade, the Knicks sent Ewing to Seattle and Chris Dudley to Phoenix, and received Glen Rice, Luc Longley, Travis Knight, Vladimir Stepania, Lazaro Borrell, Vernon Maxwell, two first-round draft picks (from the Los Angeles Lakers and Seattle) and two second-round draft picks from Seattle. Many would later consider the trade a significant part of the Knicks' disintegration from a former NBA powerhouse to perennial loser. After a year with the Sonics and another with the Orlando Magic, he announced his retirement on September 18, 2002. That season, he took a job as an assistant coach with the Washington Wizards.

In 2001, Ewing testified in part of the Atlanta's Gold Club prostitution and fraud federal trial. The owner Thomas Sicignano, testified that he arranged for dancers to have sex with professional athletes. Ewing admitted he went to the club and received oral sex twice in the club. Ewing was never charged with any criminal wrongdoing.

On February 28, 2003 Ewing's jersey number 33 was retired in a large ceremony at Madison Square Gardenmarker. He continues to be considered one of the greatest players in the Knicks' storied history, as well as one of the greatest in NBA history. Many consider the Knicks' rivalries against the Bulls, Pacers, and Heat - all of which featured Ewing as the centerpiece during his time in New York - as some of the most intense of the decade. In his last year with the Knicks, Ewing had a game winning slam dunk over Alonzo Mourning in game 7 of the second round of the playoffs to lead the Knicks to the Eastern Conference Finals.

Coaching career

Ewing seated on the Orlando Magic's bench, where he currently is an assistant coach
On July 3, 2007, Ewing was one of four assistants hired to serve under first-year Orlando Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy for the 2007-08 season.

Ewing was enshrined into the Basketball Hall of Famemarker as part of the class of 2008.

Ewing was a key factor in the Magic's run to the 2009 NBA Finals, where they lost to the Los Angeles Lakers. He guaranteed a win in Game 7 of the second round against the defending champion Boston Celtics. The Magic beat the Celtics 101 to 82 to win the series 4 games to 3. As a result, Ewing saw Magic captain Dwight Howard set a new NBA Finals record, for most blocked shots in a single finals game, with 9 in Game 4 of the finals, surpassing the previous record of 8, which Ewing himself set in Game 5 of the 1994 Finals.

NBA statistics

In 1999, Ewing became the 10th player in NBA history to record 22,000 points and 10,000 rebounds.

In 1993 he led the NBA with 789 defensive rebounds. He was top ten in field goal percentage 8 times, top ten in rebounds per game as well as total rebounds 8 times, top ten in points, as well as points per game 8 times, and top ten in blocks per game for 13 years.

Other work

Ewing was in the 1996 movie Space Jam as himself, one of five NBA players whose talent was stolen (along with Charles Barkley, Shawn Bradley, Larry Johnson, and Muggsy Bogues). Ewing had a brief appearance, again as himself, in the movie Senseless starring Marlon Wayans. He also appeared in The Exorcist III as the Angel of Death.

Ewing made cameos as himself in the sitcoms Spin City, Herman's Head, Mad About You, and Webster. Most recently, he appeared in a 2009 ad for Snickers, suggesting that those who eat the candy bar might "get dunked on by Patrick Chewing".

Personal life

After friend and rival NBA center Alonzo Mourning was diagnosed with a kidney ailment in 2000, Patrick Ewing made a promise that he would donate one of his kidneys to Mourning if he ever needed one. In 2003, Ewing was tested for kidney compatibility with Alonzo Mourning but Mourning's cousin was found to be the best match. Ewing's son, Patrick Ewing, Jr., attended his father's alma mater, Georgetown Universitymarker after two years at Indiana University. Ewing, Jr. wore the same jersey number that his father wore, #33. He was drafted by the Sacramento Kings in the second round with the 43rd pick of the 2008 NBA Draft, but was then traded to the New York Knicks, his father's old team.

He has been a resident of Englewood Cliffs, New Jerseymarker.

Honors

  • Rookie of the Year (1986)
  • All-NBA First Team (1990)
  • All-NBA Second Team (1988, '89, '91, '92, '93, '97)
  • NBA All-Defensive Second Team (1988, '89, '92)
  • 11-time All-Star; One of 50 Greatest Players in NBA History (1996)
  • 2-time Olympic gold medalist (1984, '92)
  • NCAA Basketball Tournament Most Outstanding Player (1984)
  • Naismith College Player of the Year in (1985).
  • Number 33 Retired for the New York Knicks
  • Elected to the Basketball Hall of Famemarker as a member of the class of 2008.


See also



References

  1. 25 Greatest Players in College Basketball: No. 16 Patrick Ewing - ESPN Video
  2. 04/14/1993 NBA Box Score at CHA - basketballreference.com
  3. @Herald: The agony of short people
  4. CNN.com - NBA star Ewing testifies at strip club trial - July 24, 2001
  5. Patrick Ewing Statistics - Basketball-Reference.com
  6. [1]
  7. Patrick Ewing Offers Kidney To Ailing Friend Alonzo Mourning - Brief Article | Jet | Find Articles at BNET.com
  8. Ewing takes stand - barely, The Record by Jason Tsai, October 27, 2006. "Former NBA star Patrick Ewing told jurors Thursday that he felt "violated" and frightened for his family's safety after his Englewood Cliffs home was ransacked seven years ago of more than $300,000 in property."


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