Patrick was just a player
Former NBA player and New York Knicks legend Charles Oakley took several shots at Patrick Ewing, a player with whom he made the Knicks a powerhouse in the eastern conference back in the 90s. While making an appearance on the Shay Shay podcast, Oakley was asked about the difference between Michael Jordan and Patrick since Oakley had the opportunity to play with both of them for several years.
For Oakley, there is no doubt Jordan was a superior player, and all those battles that the Knicks lost against the Bulls were proof of that. Even though the Knicks had a solid group, they just didn't have enough firepower to beat Jordan and the Bulls in a seven-game series. Oakley said that is why Ewing was just a player while Jordan had the 'it factor, which made him superior to all his competition, and he had numerous iconic games against the Knicks.
"Michael was the "it factor", and Patrick was just the player. Patrick was skilled and could do a lot of things, but once he got into the NBA, he didn't do the things he did at Georgetown. I mean, we played hard, I kept myself in a lot of games."
Hakeem had a higher IQ than Ewing
When Jordan retired for the first time, the Knicks were the leading championship contender, and they made it to the NBA Finals for the first time with that group. They played against Ewing's other big rival, Hakeem Olajuwon, who dismantled the competition and showcased he was the best center in the league at that point. Oakley said there was a significant difference between Hakeem and Patrick, and he even went that far to say Olajuwon had a higher IQ than Ewing.
"He got all the accolades, Dream Team, All-Star, Top 50 player, and Patrick was good, but he was no Hakeem. Hakeem could carry the team and put the team on his back because he was so agile, and he was better. I think his IQ was better than Patrick's."
Oakley is frustrated with Ewing, and some of these comments are not what he really thinks because he admitted he was disappointed with his former teammate after the incident at Madison Square Garden. Oakley confronted the owner of the Knicks, James Dolan, which resulted in him getting kicked out of the arena, which set a chain of events that ended in a tarnished relationship with Oakley and his former team. Oakley wanted Ewing to step up and say something, but his silence was louder than words for Oakley, who was unhappy with his former teammate and his lack of response.
"I took care of Patrick for 10 years. I had his back, I was there for him. We did great things together and went to 10 playoffs together with New York. We never could win a championship, and when we got there couldn't win it. What really hurt me was that Patrick was when that thing happened in New York he didn't come up to my rescue, and that is kind of sad since we played together for 10 years."
Oakley is extremely critical of Ewing nowadays, from a perspective of a basketball player saying he was nowhere near on the same level as Michael Jordan or Hakeem Olajuwon. He also diminished his worth as a person, calling him out for not stepping up when he was supposed too to defend his teammate. Even though you can argue, Ewing was a great player but not as dominant or impactful as Jordan or Hakeem because he did lose in direct matchups against both of them. However, calling him out because of the personal arguments between the Knicks ownership and former players is something that is their business.
Hopefully, Ewing and Oakley will be able to sit down and discuss any problems they have between them because they accomplished many great things together, making the Knicks one of the most iconic squads from the 90s, even if they never won a championship. They still have a lot of fans that fondly remember them being one of the most significant powerhouses from that era of the NBA.