Hall of Famer Patrick Ewing was involved in several conflicts ever since he stepped foot on the NBA hardwood. The Knicks center was known to have a temper that players would exploit.
Patrick Ewing is arguably one of the best players in Knicks franchise history. The former rookie of the year was one of the most dominant players the league had ever seen. Ewing played college basketball for Georgetown and was the national college player of the year.
Ewing also bought his college an NCAA championship averaging 15.3 PPG, 9.2 RPG, and 3.4 BPG. Pat had a cultural impact during his college basketball days as well. The Hoya Destroya had a habit of wearing a short-sleeved T-shirt underneath his jersey, which became a fashion trend among young basketball aspirants.
The 1st pick in the 1985 NBA Draft, Patrick Ewing was selected, by the New York Knicks. The 1985 draft was highly controversial, with several theories of rigging doing the rounds. However, the Knicks’ previous season record was 24-58.
The former NCAA champion was known to be one of the most physical players, so much so that he was ejected twice during his first preseason with the Knicks.
Patrick Ewing was ejected twice before beginning his first official season in the NBA.
Ewing didn’t waste a second to play bully ball as soon as he wore the Knicks uniform. The Hoya exhibited a physical style of play from the very beginning of his pre-season. During a match against Washington Bullets, Pat exchanged a series of elbows with center Tony Costner.
In only his second game, Pat received two technical fouls, which resulted in him being ejected from the game. During a game between the Knicks and the New Jersey Nets, Ewing got into a scuffle with Nets forward Buck Williams.
The worst was yet to come in a game against the Indiana Pacers. During the 3rd quarter of the game, Pat would throw an elbow at Steve Stipanovich, which led to the latter giving the rookie a stranglehold and bring him down on the floor. Ewing was fined $1500 for his actions.
Pat even suffered an elbow injury during the fight and was quoted saying the following in his defense.
Stipanovich was trying to block me out. I was trying to go for the offensive rebound, We were banging, which is part of the game. And he just came out and grabbed me, flung me to the ground and bent my elbow back. Naturally, I was angry. I’m blamed for everything that happens. I guess that’s life.
via: Washington Post
Despite his innumerable altercations on the court, Ewing would be named rookie of the year. The Knicks center averaged an impressive 20.0 PPG, 9.0 RPG, and 2.1 BPG on a 47.4% shooting from the field in his debut year.
By the end of his debut year, Ewing had 4,034 personal fouls, placing him 13th on the all-time list in NBA history. According to the Knicks head coach Hubie Brown, the opposition had figured a way to exploit Ewing’s short temper.