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YouTube Gold: The Greatness Of Patrick Ewing

Ewing was brilliant but overshadowed by other greats

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Derek Anderson (C) tries to find someone to pass to as he is trapped by New York Knicks Patrick Ewing (L) and Chris Dudley (R) in the second quarter 01 March at Madison Square Garden in New York, NY. The Knicks beat the Cavaliers 85-78.
Photo credit should read MATT CAMPBELL/AFP via Getty Images

Patrick Ewing came along during an era of many great big men: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Hakeem Olajuwon, David Robinson, Shaquille O’ Neal, Yao Ming and Ralph Sampson all overlapped with Ewing.

And then there was also Michael Jordan, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson and many, many other greats.

So to an extent his greatness gets lost in the shuffle.

But he was a superb big man who could impose himself on the game like few others.

In college he was unbelievably fast and powerful, able to block a shot and then sprint downcourt and get a dunk.

In the NBA he went toe to toe with all those big men and held his own. But unlike Bird, Jordan, Johnson and Olajuwon, he never won a title.

Still, he was a great center and in his prime, he was as good as anyone of those other great bigs.

Today, with an outside-in game and few great big men, the game is very different. But sooner or later, another great big will come along and when he does, the nature of the modern game will allow him a shocking level of dominance inside.