In a reflective glimpse into the evolving landscape of the NBA, basketball legend Patrick Ewing offered an intriguing perspective on how he would fare in the modern game. Known for his formidable presence on the court, Ewing, a cornerstone of the New York Knicks' golden era, shared his thoughts on the current state of the league, notably marked by the scarcity of traditional, dominant big men like himself.
Ewing, in a candid discussion, subtly underscored his multifaceted skill set that he believes would have made him an even more dominant figure in today's NBA. "Looking at the game now, I see that the role and presence of dominant big men have diminished compared to my playing days.
Given my abilities to score, rebound, defend, and block shots, I'm confident I would have been an invaluable asset to any team in the current era," Ewing expressed during an interview with The Ringer in 2016.
Ewing's Classic Playstyle
The game has indeed transitioned, with a noticeable shift towards versatility and an emphasis on long-range shooting.
However, Ewing, renowned for his prowess within and around the paint, asserted he wouldn't have ventured into becoming a 3-point shooter to adapt. Despite hitting a memorable three-pointer against the Boston Celtics in the 1990 playoffs, Ewing remained true to his strengths.
"While I've made a few threes in my career, my forte was always inside-out up to about 17 feet. That's where I excelled," Ewing remarked with a hint of humor, emphasizing his commitment to his traditional playing style. Reflecting on his illustrious career, pitted against some of the greatest centers the league has ever seen, Ewing boldly likened his potential impact in today's game to that of Michael Jordan's in his prime.
With an impressive resume that includes 11 All-Star appearances, seven All-NBA selections, and three All-Defensive team honors, Ewing's assertion carries weight. As the NBA continues to evolve, Ewing's hypothetical dominance in the modern era serves as a fascinating "what if" scenario, reminding fans and players alike of the enduring legacy and adaptability of the game's greats.
Ewing's perspective not only highlights his confidence in his timeless skill set but also sparks a broader conversation about the evolving dynamics of basketball and the place of traditional big men in the contemporary game.