Patrick Ewing takes CenterStagePremieres on the YES Network July 1 at 11 p.m. ET
Ewing's referring to the love-hate relationship he had with Knicks fans while playing in New York. March 1987, a promotion at Madison Square Garden for St. Patrick's Day, fans received life-sized Ewing posters. The Knicks ended up losing their fourth consecutive game against the Denver Nuggets who lost seven consecutive games on the road. Ewing had one of his worst games that year with just 11 points and 3 rebounds in 26 minutes.
I had been hurt up to that game and I came back, for that game, I didn't play particularly well. And I still remember the day, ... them ripping the posters up, throwing 'em on the floor and, I remember there was ... one shot where a guy ripped my head out-off and put his head in there. Put his head in the poster. But you know, I can laugh about it now.
Michael Jordan was talking trash to Ewing even in high school.
The first time I met Michael was visiting North Carolina (as high school students.) And he had already committed but ... he and his mother and father and sister were....his sister was thinking about coming there. And so he was there at the same time that I was visiting. He was talking trash from that day. And still to this day ... he talking that he's gonna dunk on me and doing all this stuff. I can't dunk on him, so I had to, I was just dressed and I still had to go out there and dunk on him back then ... But, no...he talk a lotta trash but he's a great guy, he's a very ... dear friend.
Friendships are put on hold when Ewing steps on the court.
I liked him (Jordan), he's a great friend. But, once we step on the court, all the friendship is out. If he comes in the paint, I'm gonna knock him down, I'm gonna block his shot. It's the same ... Dikembe Mutombo and Alonzo Mourning, we're all ... great friends ... I think Dikembe was playing for Atlanta or something. He elbowed me in my jaw. I thought he broke my jaw, I was like "D, what, what's?" He said, "Why didn't you move your jaw? Move your jaw, get it out the way." ... .We were very good friends off the court. But once we step on the court, he wanted to win, I wanted to win. And, definitely I didn't wanna hear his mouth anyway.
Ewing's leading the Knicks to their first NBA finals in over 20 years.
1994 NBA Finals Knicks vs. Rockets: Hakeem Olajuwon deflected John Starks' three-point attempt and the Rockets would win 90-88 in Game 6. It's still a tough pill to swallow...We could've won it...and it would've been great finally to...win the ring, but it just wasn't in the cards for me. And then I end up going to Houston coaching (for the 2004-2006 seasons), and have to see them replaying the replay of the Rockets' Finals win over the Knicks and them winning it over and over, I'm like, "Will somebody please take that dang thing off."
People ask me, "Do I blame John," and I'm like "No." ... .John Starks, to me is a great competitor, and I will go and play with that man any day. Because I know...he's crazy, he's emotional. But he's got my back and he knows I'm gonna have his back...and I love the fire that he brought to this team. (Should teammate John Starks been taken out? Starks shot 2-for-18 from the field and 0-for-11 from the three-point range) No. Because like I said...as a scorer, or as a player....you always feel that your next shot is gonna fall...and unfortunately for him, it didn't fall and unfortunately for us it didn't fall.
Ewing didn't care for how Don Nelson used him in offense.
Nelson coached the New York Knicks team from July 1995 until March 1996
We did not click. Don Nelson's a great coach ... I didn't like the way that I was being played....I guess, either he felt I was getting older or management felt I was getting older and......I guess, they were trying to cut my minutes....When they made a change needless to say I wasn't very happy.
The memorable brawl with Miami during the second-round series, 1996-1997 postseason.
I think (Knicks were robbed) I think that was probably one of ... .our best teams. And ... we were clicking in all cylinders. And if it wasn't for that fight we probably would've won the championship that year. I think I felt that we probably would've beaten the Bulls. And ... get back to the Finals.
I stepped onto the court, yes, and I looked, I didn't get into an altercation, I looked what was going on, I went back. And ... years later I see Shaq do the same exact thing that I did, and ... he didn't get suspended so that kinda ticked me off...it still, haunts me, still hurts me to this day.
Ewing's Achilles injury during the 1998-1999 Eastern Conference Finals against the Pacers possibly hurt the Knicks' chances against the Spurs in the NBA Finals.
Definitely. I remember going, playing in San Antonio and their fans were just rude and unruly and they're all in our face and talking trash to me. And then we lost to them. And I remember going on the bus, when no one's there on the bus, I'm there by myself and I just broke down in tears. But I was so angry that...I couldn't ... be out there to help my teammates. I really don't know if we would've won. But, it would've made it a lot tougher series for them.