Normally I wouldn’t pay any attention to a media-generated story like an assistant coach guaranteeing victory in a Game 7, but when the assistant coach in question is Patrick Ewing, I can’t resist. As a Celtics fan who grew up in Knicks country (Fairfield County, Conn.) during the Ewing Era, I lived through so many Ewing guarantees that it would take me an entire afternoon to track down all of them.
Here’s what Ewing said today, courtesy of Jess Camerato: “Even though I’m not playing, I’m guaranteeing a win.”
And Doc’s classic response: “Oh that’s great. We feel great about that. I’ve been on those Knicks teams where he had some predictions.”
ESPN has a video here that includes some Ewing guarantees that didn’t pan out, but neither of my favorites makes the cut.
• In 1997 during the Eastern Conference semi-finals against Miami, Ewing told reporters before Game 7, “See you in Chicago,” meaning the Knicks would advance to the conference finals and play the Bulls. They lost, becoming the sixth team in NBA history at that point to blow a 3-1 series lead. It certainly wasn’t Patrick’s fault; he went for 37-17 in the Game 7 loss.
• Before Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Pacers in 2000 (with New York trailing 3-2), Ewing said, “We’re going to win tomorrow and we’re going to come back on Sunday and try to win again.” They lost Game 6, with Pat shooting 6-of-15 for 18 points (and 12 boards).
I’m sure Ewing correctly guaranteed something during his career, but nothing is popping into my head immediately. Hopefully he’s wrong again.