What a shame that Patrick Ewing didn’t get to play for the New York Knicks, right? The Hall of Fame center was a staple in the Big Apple’s lineup from 1983 to 1992, but his career was cut short when he was ejected from a game against the Detroit Pistons in 1986. In a post-game interview after being tossed, Ewing was asked what he thought of the young Laimbeer. After saying he was young, Laimbeer was asked about the old man’s performance on the court. Ewing then flew off the handle, nearly striking the Detroit big man in the face, before he stormed off the court.

Patrick Ewing was a bad man. The Georgetown legend and two-time NCAA champion was a force on the court and a major headache off of it.

While the 2020-21 NBA season won’t necessarily improve everyone’s state of mind, New York Knicks fans haven’t had much fun lately. But no campaign, no matter how disappointing, will make New Yorkers forget Patrick Ewing. In his heyday, the big man dominated the paint and made Madison Square Garden the centerpiece of the basketball universe. Although he never managed to win an NBA title, Ewing earned a reputation for possessing both incredible talent and physical toughness. The center just wasn’t ready to fight. Although he set the precedent long before he went pro. Ask Bill Laimbeer about his encounter with the Ewing child.

Patrick Ewing made his name in high school

. Ask most basketball fans about Ewing and they’ll tell you he dominated at Georgetown before being traded to the Knicks under somewhat controversial circumstances. But the rise of the great man began even earlier. Ewing was born in Jamaica and moved to the United States at the age of 12. After moving to Massachusetts, he started playing basketball. He showed his talents and when the time came to go to high school, he joined the Cambridge Rindge & Latin team. In an ESPN article about the best McDonald’s All-Americans of all time, Ewing dominates his opponents. The Jamaica-born Ewing has been a dominant force in the preseason, averaging 22.7 points and 15 rebounds and shooting 72 percent from the field, according to Ronnie Flores. Rindge & Latin has a 77-1 record in its last three seasons, including a 25-0 record as a senior. While this recap can certainly stand alone, it doesn’t even include one of Ewing’s most impressive performances.

Gets an Olympic try and punches Bill Laimbeer in the face

word-image-11200 word-image-11201 Patrick Ewing throws a slam dunk for the New York Knicks. | Tom Berg/WireImage Ewing’s work was so impressive that he was invited to be on the 1980 Olympic basketball team. Although the big man was just entering his senior year of high school at the time, he was there and walked the court with some future NBA contenders. Such is the case with Bill Lymbir, who was drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 1979. Although he didn’t make his NBA debut until the 1980-81 season, the future Detroit Pistons player already showed an extraordinary physique. On one of his last days, Bill Lymbir gave him one of those nasty punches, Ewing’s high school coach Mike Jarvis told Jackie McMullen in 1993 to the Boston Globe (h/t Chicago Tribune). Patrick turned around and punched him in the face. Since that day, nobody, just nobody, has pushed Patrick Ewing. Ewing was certainly not the last player to face Laimbire. During his time in the Bad Boys Association, he became one of the biggest villains in the league. There is even a video game Bill Laimbeer’s Combat Basketball, which is a futuristic version of the sport with body controls and weapons on the court.

Patrick Ewing has only added to his intimidating image with-pros.

. While not much is mentioned outside of McMullen’s story about Ewing hitting Laimbeer, we know the big man didn’t stop there. During his NCAA and NBA career, the center earned a reputation as one of the best bullies in basketball. There is no better illustration of this than Jack McCallum’s 1990 Sports Illustrated article on the Knicks star. The first few paragraphs seem to describe a gladiator ready to fight, not a basketball player. Patrick Ewing looks ready for the game of rollerball, as his long, wide passes carry him into the center circle of Madison Square Garden field. He wears large black braces around both knees with the usual white knee pads. A pair of white elastic compression tights reach from the bottom of his New York Knicks shorts almost to his knee pads. His hands are covered in terrible scratches – battle scars, as Ewing calls them. Jack McCallum McCallum’s dramatic story did not end there, however. The journalist goes into detail and paints a picture of a man who does not want to meet an opponent under the basket. He weighs 255 pounds of muscle, hardened by strength training five times a week, even during the season. He’s 6-foot-2, a huge man whose presence is no less imposing than that of Utah Jazz candidate Mr. America, Karl Malone, he continued. A frown appears on Ewing’s face, which like his shields is held firmly in place as he enters the field. It comes across as someone who is prepared for battle, not basketball. But with all his physicality, the Knicks star wasn’t just a brute who crushed his opponents. Ewing could also show amazing grace and finesse; when defenders backed off and offered him free throws, he learned to take them. All of this has contributed to the center’s 21.0 points, 9.8 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game in his 17-year NBA career. There have been many players in the sports world who had a great game, but couldn’t sustain it. Although he failed to lift the Larry O’Brien Trophy, Ewing is not one of them. statistics provided by Basketball-Reference

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