November 14, 2000: Patrick Ewing faced the Knicks for the first time as a member of the Seattle Supersonics and enjoyed a 96-75 win against his old team.
Patrick Ewing got the last laugh against the Knicks with a blowout victory. In 31 minutes, Ewing scored 10 points, grabbed 9 rebounds, and blocked 3 shots. Gary Payton & Rashard Lewis led the Sonics with 25 and 22 points respectively. Payton, in 46 minutes, nearly had a triple double with 13 assists and 8 rebounds. For the Knicks, Marcus Camby led the Knicks against his former teammate with 20 points and 17 rebounds.
This matchup represented a bittersweet moment for everyone involved. For fans, it was sad seeing Ewing in the twilight of his career playing in a different uniform. Ewing was clearly at the end of his career and it was tough to see him end his career as a relic of himself
The front office and Ewing developed an irreconcilable relationship during the end of the 2000 season. Ewing, then 38, was at the end of a 4-year, $60 million contract and was reportedly looking for a two year extension from the team. Ewing was also diminishing as a player following the torn Achilles tendon in the 1999 playoffs. Ewing was clearly attempting to win a championship during the final years of his career.
The Knicks needed a replacement for Ewing in the frontcourt. The original genesis of the Ewing trade involved the Detroit Pistons instead of the Phoenix Suns and would have netted Vin Baker along with Glen Rice. However, the trade fell apart and the Knicks settled for a lesser trade involving Rice, Luc Longley, several draft picks, and salary cap filler.
The trade didn’t benefit either Ewing or the Knicks. Ewing played his final two seasons with the Sonics and Magic and failed to reach the NBA Finals. The Knicks ultimately traded those acquired draft picks and flipped Glen Rice into the albatross contracts of Shandon Anderson & Howard Eisley, leading into a decade of losing records and grotesque mismanagement of basketball operations.
Knicks Film School Historian, amongst other things