Shaquille O’Neal was greeted by Patrick Ewing recently when the Knicks legend appeared on ‘The Big Podcast with Shaq’.
Shaq and Patrick Ewing competed with each other for 11 years in the NBA. There were many battles between the two during their heyday. Ewing stood for all things Knicks basketball, and with good reason.
He battled it out in the Eastern Conference for 16 years, leading his team to 2 Finals appearances. One was a heartbreaking loss to Hakeem Olajuwon in seven games, back in 1994. The other came at the hands of the Spurs’ Twin Towers lineup in the lockout-shortened 1999 season.
Having duked it out for inside position against each other, both have developed a healthy mutual respect. Shaq, in fact, went on to reveal that he took jersey number 33 in honor of Patrick, both in high school and at LSU.
Shaquille O’Neal is given a pleasant surprise by Patrick Ewing on his podcast
Shaq has been doing some podcast episodes hosted by NBA on TNT for a series called ‘The Big Podcast with Shaq’. These episodes have been a ton of fun, and we’d heartily recommend a watch.
“Pat, I know me and you had some tough battles, but you were always my favorite player. I don’t think you know this, but I wore number 33 in high school and college because of you.”
View this post on Instagram
Ewing spoke glowingly about this era’s NBA big men, but he also noted how their offensive focus has shifted from the 90s era of basketball to the modern-day era:
“The league has definitely changed. In our eras, bigs were in the blocks. Dunking, face-up, hook shots. In this era, most bigs are at the 3-point line, or they’re in the pick-and-roll and catching lobs. So things definitely have changed. You and I played in a different era.”
Ewing is also one of the members of the ‘Knicks are back’ camp, which is quite understandable. They’re a team on the come-up, and coach Tom Thibodeau has given Knicks fans a lot to cherish this year. The big man stated the same:
“I think they are back. I think Tom Thibodeau’s done an outstanding job with them and Julius Randle.”