Knicks legend Patrick Ewing set to attend, support NY in series opener vs Miami
A franchise legend is on his way back to his old home.
Patrick Ewing, the former cornerstone of the New York Knicks, will grace the Madison Square Garden to attend the team’s second-round series opener against the Miami Heat on Sunday, per Barbara Parker of the New York Daily News.
Ewing served as the main man of the Knicks for 17 years after being drafted by the club as the first overall pick of the 1985 NBA Draft. An 11-time All-Star and multiple All-NBA Team member, he led New York towards relative success in the 90s – highlighted by an NBA Finals run for both 1993-94 and 1998-99.
The all-time center is set to support a Knicks team that went through massive odds to be back in postseason relevance. New York, who finished fifth in the conference standings this season, clamped the heavily favored Cleveland Cavaliers in five games of their first-round series behind the stellar production of rising star Jalen Brunson. This marked for the first time in 10 years that the club managed to advance to the second-round stage.
Ewing admitted to Parker that he already foresaw a Knicks-Heat second-round matchup when Jimmy Butler erupted against the Milwaukee Bucks, upsetting the top-seeded team. He went on to call Alonzo Mourning, former Miami star and his old arch nemesis, and revealed that he felt nostalgic knowing the fact that both teams will rekindle their rivalry which reached great heights in the late 90s.
New York and Miami faced each other in the playoffs for four-straight seasons from 1997 to 2000, with the two clubs splitting the matchups. Their conflict went on to become highly physical and staged one of the most memorable brawls in league history.
“I’m looking at Miami come back and win and Jimmy have 56 points, and I called Alonzo right after that game,” Ewing told Parker. “And he was like, ‘Man, it’s going to be like the old days.’ It’s going to be great.”
With their initial playoff success, the Knicks have been drawing the presence of several of their former stars in history. In Game 3 against Cleveland, the likes of John Starks, Allan Houston and Latrell Sprewell appeared to expresse their support.
But now for the upcoming Game 1 against the Heat, they can’t ask for a much iconic figure to root for them in hopes of drawing that first blood win against their old rivals.