Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Patrick Ewing: If Only I Had a Carmelo...

Patrick Ewing claims current New York Knicks super-star Amar'e Stoudemire has an easier road to an NBA title than he did because none of his teammates were as good as Carmelo Anthony.

According to the New York Post, Ewing thinks he could have won a championship if former Knicks GM Ernie Grunfeld and Garden president Davis Checketts had brought in a better supporting cast.

The 11-time All-Star was asked who was the best player he ever played alongside with and Ewing replied," Second best teammate?  John Starks, Allan [Houston], Spree [Latrell Spreewell], Oak [Charles Oakley].  But they're not Carmelo"

While Ewing, an assistant coach with the Orlando Magic, may be endearing himself to the current Knicks team, it sounds like a jab at the former Knicks management for his brilliant, but NBA Championship-less career.  It sounds like he wrongly took the blame for the lack of an NBA title because he didn't have his own second fiddle.

Ewing is on the short list of Knicks head coaching prospects if current coach, Mike D'Antoni fails and believes the current Knicks brass is on the right track by bringing in an additional super-star like Anthony mid-way through the season to compliment Stoudemire--a perk he never had.

Yesterday, Ewing professed his admiration of Anthony before the Magic's 116-110 victory in Orlando.

"A great player. A great player," Ewing said.  "New York hasn't had two bona fide superstars since Willis [Reed] and Earl [Monroe] and Clyde [Frazier].  Those guys are two bona fide superstars."

The closest Ewing ever got to getting an NBA Championship ring was in 1994.  After battling center Hakeem Olajuwon and leading the Houston Rockets, 3-2, Ewing's second-banana, Starks, went ice-cold and shot 2-for-18 in game seven while the Knicks wilted away.  It still burns at Ewing.

"I can't worry about that now," said Ewing.  "I've been retired 100 years.  It feels like 100 years."

The Hall-of-Famer had a lot of good things to say about the third part of the Knicks Big-Three, Chauncey Billups.

"Everyone kept talking about him as a throw-in," Ewing said.  People overlooked him when he first started.  He's played great games. He's won championships."

While Ewing was surrounded by rugged lunch-buckets players like Starks and Oakley during his playing days, he now says he would have welcomed an offensive super-star player like Anthony and advises Stoudemire to count his blessings.

Ewing believes Stoudemire and 'Melo can co-exist in New York.  "They both have to share it, he stressed.  "You can't worry about it.  The city's big enough.  There's enough spotlight to go around."

That spotlight was always shining on Ewing during his 15 seasons at Madison Square Garden and it highlights his retired #33 jersey hanging from it's rafters.

Listening to him reminisce, it sounds like Ewing wishes he had someone to share the limelight with back then.

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