Patrick Ewing was one of those unfortunate stars in the NBA that ended his career without the ultimate prize, the NBA championship. When Ewing played for the New York Knicks, they were a respectable powerhouse in the eastern conference for almost a decade. He played twice in the NBA finals but always came up short. First, he had to face a tough Houston Rockets team led by Hakeem Olajuwon, and the second time he got injured in the NBA finals against the San Antonio Spurs. Every Knicks team Ewing was on always seemed to miss one crucial piece that would get them over the hump.
In an interview on the Knuckleheads Podcast, Ewing talked about his college and NBA career and everything he’s been through during his tenure with the Knicks. Ewing also shared which four players he would pick in his all-time Knicks team that he played with during his 15-year-long career with the franchise.
The first player that comes to his mind is none other than John Starks, who played with Ewing for a decade and built a bond that still exists today. Ewing admired Starks, who had to work very hard to earn the contract with the Knicks but on top of that respect from the fans and other teammates.
John Starks because I loved his toughness. He worked for everything that he got. He played with a chip on his shoulder. He was a good athlete, a streaky shooter, but when you go to war, that is the kind of dude you want in your foxhole.Patrick Ewing, via The Knuckleheads Podcast
Charles Oakley is the second player Ewing would choose if he would have to pick the best players he ever played with in Knicks jersey. After spending a few years with the Chicago Bulls, Oakley joined the Knicks, where he fit in perfectly with Pat Riley’s system, and later when Jeff Van Gundy was running the show. Ewing and Oakley formed a tough backcourt for the Knicks, and opposing players knew that scoring a basket close to the rim was almost impossible with them two orbiting the paint.
Charles Oakley is the hitman. We played about 10-12 years together. He was physical, and if anybody messed with anybody on the team, he would be the first one to step to him.Patrick Ewing, via The Knuckleheads Podcast
In the later stages of his career as a member of the Knicks, Ewing played with Larry Johnson and Allan Houston, who were great additions to the team. Unfortunately, Johnson was already out of his prime, struggling with injuries, but he could do several things exceptionally well on the court when he was healthy. On the other hand, Houston was a great shooting guard capable of scoring 25-30 points per game if he got going. When it comes to the point guard position and someone who could handle the role of a true floor general, Ewing would go with either Charlie Ward or Mark Jackson.
By the time Larry Johnson came to the Knicks, he had reshaped his game. He became a great three-point shooter and a great leader. Allan Houston was also a great shooter. We are also gonna need someone to bring the ball up so you can flip the coin. It’s either Charlie Ward or Mark Jackson.Patrick Ewing, via The Knuckleheads Podcast
A Knicks team, including Ewing, Oakley, Starks, Johnson, Houston, Jackson, and Ward, is definitely a squad that could compete for a championship against any team in any era. It would be interesting to see if that team could potentially go up against the Bulls squad from the ’90s, but if they did, they would probably give them a good run for their money, and Ewing would have potentially won a championship or two.