Patrick Ewing was not happy with the security at Madison Square Garden this week after leading the Georgetown Hoyas to a big win against Villanova. On Thursday, the Hoyas took down Villanova in the Big East Tournament, which is the biggest win in Ewing's coaching career as the Wildcats are the top-ranked team in the tournament. However, he didn't like the fact he was "getting stopped" and "accosted" at Madison Square Garden, his home for many years when he played for the New York Knicks.
"I do want to say one thing, though. I thought this was my building," Ewing said, as reported by ESPN. "And I feel terrible that I'm getting stopped, accosted, [people] asking for passes. Everybody in this building should know who the hell I am, and I'm getting stopped - I can't move around this building. I was like, 'What the hell? Is this Madison Square Garden?'"
ESPN says it's not clear who stopped Ewing, but he's right when it comes to being an iconic figure in New York. Ewing, 58, was drafted No. 1 overall by the Knicks in 1985 and made an immediate impact. He was named Rookie of the Year in 1986 and was selected to the All-Star team 11 times in his 15 seasons with the Knicks. During that time, Ewing averaged 22.8 points, 10.4 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game while leading the Knicks to the NBA Finals in 1994 and 1999.
Ewing's contributions to the Knicks led to the team retiring his No. 33 in 2003. "I'm going to have to call [James Dolan] and say, 'Geez, is my number in the rafters or what?'" Ewing said jokingly. When Madison Square Garden learn about what happened, it released a statement.
"[James Dolan] and Patrick have a long-standing relationship; they spoke this afternoon and reaffirmed that," the statement read. "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 semi-finals." This isn't the first time notable figures have had issues with Madison Square Garden officials. In 2017, Knicks legend Charles Oakley was removed from a game and arrested after a fight with Madison Square Garden's security personnel. Knicks superfan Spike Lee said last year he was "done" watching Knicks home games after he was told he could no longer use the employee entrance to get to his outside seat.