NEW YORK, Dec. 24 -- The New York Knickerbockers announced today that they will retire jersey No. 33 in honor of Knicks great Patrick Ewing at halftime of New York's game versus the Orlando Magic on Friday, Feb. 28, 2003.
"Patrick was the symbol of all that was great about New York basketball over a 15-year span that included two NBA Finals appearances and four division titles, and we feel there is no finer honor to bestow upon him than to have his number take it's rightful place in the rafters with the other franchise greats," Steve Mills, President, Sports Team Operations, Madison Square Garden and Scott Layden, Knicks President and General Manager, said jointly. "It will be a special night, one which all New Yorkers will remember for a long time."
Ewing, currently an assistant coach with the Washington Wizards, finished his 17-year NBA career last season as one of the league's top all-time players. Averaging 21.0 points, 9.8 rebounds and 2.45 blocks over 1,183 career games, the 11-time NBA All-Star joined the Knicks from Georgetown University as the No. 1 overall pick in the 1985 NBA Draft.
After a team-record 15 seasons with New York, the 7-foot, 255-pound center became the franchise leader in almost every statistical category including: games played (1,039), points scored (23,665), rebounds (10,759), blocked shots (2,758) and steals (1,061). He was named NBA Rookie of the Year in 1986 and selected to seven All-NBA Teams and three NBA All-Defensive Teams, culminating in the honor of being chosen one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History in 1996.
"I am honored to have my jersey retired by this franchise," Ewing said. "I have spent the majority of my career in New York and I will always consider myself a Knick. I will always cherish the memories that I have made in New York."
The Kingston, Jamaica, native will join Walt Frazier (10), Dick Barnett (12), Earl Monroe (15), Dick McGuire (15), Willis Reed (19), Dave DeBusschere (22) and Bill Bradley (24) as the only Knicks players to have their jersey numbers retired by the franchise.
Hall of Fame coach Red Holzman (613) and the Rangers' Rod Gilbert (7) and Ed Giacomin (1) are also represented in the rafters of The World's Most Famous Arena.