New York Knicks legend Patrick Ewing may have retired in 2002, but his playing days have been in the news quite a bit in the past few weeks. Michael Jordan’s Last Dance documentary has sparked conversations about both Jordan’s Bulls and the teams he had to face in the 90s, including the Knicks.
Ewing’s former teammate Charles Oakley had some harsh words about Ewing. Oakley told Marc Berman of the New York Post,
“Patrick, at the end of the game, he’d get double-teamed, He’d shoot fadeaways on double-teams and that hurt us as a team… “We didn’t make shots and played into their hands. With defense, they played a zone and built a wall. They knew Patrick wasn’t going to pass out of the double team. Phil watched a lot of film. We watched a lot of film, but we were playing checkers and they were playing chess.”
When asked to comment, Ewing said, “I have nothing to say about what Charles has to say,” Ewing said. “He’s one of my best teammates. We went into a lot of wars and a lot of wars against the Bulls. So everyone is entitled to their own opinion.”
Former Knicks head coach and assistant on Pat Riley’s staff Jeff Van Gundy chimed in and said,
“I think we have amnesia, sometimes, as Knick people, just to how good Ewing was and how well he played. If you’re going to be compared to Jordan, then everybody’s going to come up short. But if you’re compared to a level of greatness?”
Oakley’s comments about his former teammate have rubbed many the wrong way. Ewing and the Knicks got close, but never delivered a championship. With that said, Ewing’s heart and passion shouldn’t be questioned, and he was the reason the Knicks ever got that close. Oakley chose to make cheap comments, Ewing chose to take the high road.