Patrick Ewing, one of the greatest players in New York Knicks history, is going to be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame today in Springfield, Massachusetts. He was drafted with the first overall pick in the 1985 NBA Draft, the first draft lottery in league history.
Ewing was a three-time All-American at Georgetown and reached the championship game of the NCAA tournament three out of four years he was there. Georgetown defeated the Houston Cougars led by Hall of Fame classmate Hakeem Olajuwon in 1984. The former Hoya was named the AP National Player of the Year in his senior season.
Ewing began his illustrious career with the Knicks winning the 1986 NBA Rookie of the Year award. The seven-footer made an immediate impact, averaging 20 points, nine rebounds, and two blocks per game.
He averaged over 20 points in a season 13 times and at least 10 rebounds nine times while he controlled the paint for the Knicks. He averaged a career best 28.6 points per game in the 1989-1990 season, and was a first team All-NBA selection.
Ewing played 15 seasons for the Knicks and is the all-time leader in points, rebounds, blocked shots, and steals. The Jamaican born center finished his career with 24,815 points with 11,607 rebounds and 2,894 blocked shots.
In NBA history he ranks 20th all-time in points and seventh in defensive rebounds and blocks. He was also an 11 NBA All-Star, including 10 straight appearances from 1988-97.
His number, 33, was retired by the franchise in February of 2003. Ewing retired from the game after the 2001-2002 season. Now 46 years old, he is an assistant coach with the Orlando Magic.
He is a member of the NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Team and is a two-time Olympic gold medal winner ('84, '92). Even though Ewing never captured that elusive NBA title, he led the Knicks to the NBA Finals in 1994 and 1999.
Olajuwon got his revenge as the Houston Rockets beat New York in the '94 finals in seven games. Ewing closed out his career playing for the Seattle Supersonics and Orlando Magic, but will enter the Hall as a New York Knick.
Patrick Ewing will join players Adrian Dantley and Hakeem Olajuwon, coaches Pat Riley and Cathy Rush, broadcaster Dick Vitale, and owner Bill Davidson to make up the class of 2008.