Kallas Remarks by Steve Kallas
Patrick Ewing was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame on Friday night and the criticism of his play could still be heard back in New York City. He never won a championship. He wasn’t a “great” player. His guarantees were usually worthless. It’s stunning that, with the disgrace that’s been New York Knick basketball for the last few seasons, many people still don’t understand what they had when Ewing was here and what they lost when he went to Seattle.
The reality is, in NBA basketball, one guy doesn’t win a championship. Go on and on all you want about how great Michael Jordan was (and, of course, he was), but he won nothing until Scottie Pippen came along. Sometimes two guys don’t win a championship. The great Elgin Baylor never won one and he played with the great Jerry West, who didn’t win one until he played with the great Wilt Chamberlain. Don’t forget John Stockton and Karl Malone, another dynamic duo without a title. And on and on and on.
Despite being bashed for years, all Patrick Ewing did was put up 23 points and 10 rebounds per game for FIFTEEN YEARS. He turned the Knicks from scrubs into championship contenders. He carried fellow Hall inductee Pat Riley (arguably the greatest coach ever, see Kallas Remarks, 4/30/08) and his Knick team on his back to Game 7 of the 1994 NBA Finals.
Yet, when healthy, he never played with a Michael or a Scottie. He never played with a Magic, a Kareem or even a James Worthy. He never played with a Bird or even a Kevin McHale. In fact, when healthy, he never played with anyone even close to any of these guys (Bernard King doesn’t count because he (King) wasn’t healthy early in Ewing’s career).
While it’s a joke to think that Ewing was the greatest Knick ever (Walt Frazier first, Willis Reed second, Ewing, Bernard King and Dave DeBusschere (maybe Richie Guerin) round out the top five), Patrick Ewing was a two-time Olympic gold medalist, a Top 50 greatest NBA player of all-time and now, a Hall of Famer.
Yet many people still think that he was not a “great” player. While that shows that these people know little about basketball, it says a lot more about us, the fans and some alleged “experts,” than it does about Ewing, the player. Congratulations to a great player, who gave his all to New York for fifteen seasons.
© Copyright 2008 by Steve Kallas. All rights reserved.