If anybody is going to get recognized at Madison Square Garden, it should be Patrick Ewing.
The Hall of Famer spent almost all of his nearly two-decade career in the league with the New York Knicks, after all.
Yet this week at the Big East Tournament, the Georgetown coach says he keeps getting stopped in the back hallways by security.
“I thought this was my building,” Ewing said, via NBC4. “And I feel terrible that I’m getting stopped, accosted, asking for passes, everybody in this building should know who the hell I am. I’m getting stopped. I can’t move around this building. I was like, ‘What the hell? Is this Madison Square Garden?’
“I’m going to have to call [Knicks owner James Dolan] and say, ‘Geez, is my number in the rafters or what?’”
Ewing and Dolan connected later on Thursday and spoke about it, too.
"Jim and Patrick have a long-standing relationship," Madison Square Garden said in a statement, via Zach Braziller of the New York Post. "They spoke this afternoon and reaffirmed that. We all know, respect and appreciate what he means to The Garden and New York. Good luck to him and his Hoyas in the Big East semifinals."
Georgetown in Big East semifinals for first time since 2015
Ewing spent 15 seasons with the Knicks after they took him with the No. 1 overall pick in 1985. The 11-time All-Star spent just two seasons elsewhere, with Seattle and Orlando, before he retired in 2002. The 58-year-old was then inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2008.
He is now in his fourth season with the Hoyas, and got them into the semifinals of the Big East tournament for the first time since 2015 with an impressive 19-point win over Marquette on Wednesday and then with Thursday’s 72-71 win over top-seeded Villanova.
Georgetown rallied back from an 11-point hole in the second half, and then Dante Harris sank a pair of free throws with just five seconds on the clock to seal the win — which will ensure that the Big East has a new tournament champion for the first time in four years.
Though the Hoyas have to win the tournament in order to reach the NCAA tournament — they are just 11-12 overall on the year — Ewing couldn’t be happier.
"We took another step — in my house, by the way. This is my house," Ewing said, via the Associated Press. "It's a great win. Huge win. We played against the Cadillac, the Bentley, whatever you want to call them, of the Big East — the class of the Big East. And once upon a time that was us. But we took a huge step to be able to knock them off."
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