Old-school fans of the New York Knicks were pleased when the team acquired Patrick Ewing Jr. during the offseason. But, to paraphrase Bob Knight when he was talking to ESPN's Jeremy Schaap, Ewing has a long way to go to be as good as his old man.
Marc Berman, writing on the New York Post's Knicks Blog, says new Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni was asked about the pressure that Ewing faces in following his famous father.
"There's pressure on him to make the team," D'Antoni said. "Right now, he's trying to make the New York Knicks. He needs to improve his offensive skills and mind-set. That comes with experience. A lot of guys make it, a lot of guys don't.''
Ewing is a 6-foot-8 forward with a 7-foot wingspan and 42-inch vertical leap. He is known as a defensive specialist.
Patrick Sr. told Newsday that he and his son share something in common besides their names.
"People didn't think I had offensive ability, which is the same thing they think about him," Patrick Ewing Sr. said. "They just perceive him as a defensive player."
Nate Rider in the Saratogian said Ewing stays at practice after many other Knicks have left:
He worked on his jump shot, both off the pass and off the dribble. He worked on his drive to the rim, pulling up for 10-foot bank-shots or exploding to the bucket for a reverse lay-in. Then, for 15 minutes, he worked on his foul-shooting, taking shot after shot until he was told that it was time to leave.
"I'm my dad's son and my dad was a great player," said Ewing, Jr. "But, I'm doing my own thing and I'm enjoying that."
Ewing Jr. had planned to wear his father's number, 33, on his jersey, as he did at Georgetown. But before camp opened this week at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, Ewing switched to No. 6.
"The only reason I wore 33 at Georgetown is because they don't retire numbers," Ewing told NBA.com. "I felt like I did 33 for him there, and now I can do 6 here and it's another way to honor him.
"It was my dad's Olympic number, and Bill Russell's number, who was my favorite player."