Fast forward a few years later and the memory that stands out was listening to the radio in my dad's Dodge Aries driving home from a soccer game and hearing the news that the Knicks won the NBA lottery. The news was earth shattering, Ewing was a Knick.
What followed was a historic career, and although that elusive championship never came, to me, the Big Fella represented all that was right about being a Knick.
Sure he guaranteed wins, and yes he missed a layup against the Pacers, but the man defined professionalism.
Moreover, all that's wrong to fans today about the media and beat writers is directly associated to their treatment of #33 and vice versa. They were wrong, and I'm sure they know it.
The man came to work EVERY night, played hurt even when an achillies tendon came barking.
Congrats on your years here big fella, and for being inducted into basketball immortality.
You'll always be a champion in my mind because hundreds of guys have rings that didn't have one millionth of your professionalism.
And as far as Riley, what can I say, he's the Parcells of basketball: immense genius with severe adult ADD.
He made us a factor who wanted to run the show from the top, thus the reason for the sudden exit. I can't fault you for that. But, while he may exude class on the outside, New York fans see right through that front.
That said from day one on the job the team believed it could be champions, and so few coaches have that convincing ability to get that across without having to make a trade. They can convince players they've never met to run through walls face first. It's a gift.
Springfield deserves you both, and you both deserve today.