Center Patrick Ewing of the New York Knicks was named the NBA rookie of the year yesterday although he missed 32 games because of injuries to his right knee, left ankle and left elbow.

The former Georgetown star, who averaged 20 points and nine rebounds in 50 games for New York this season, received 36 votes from a nationwide panel of media members, more than double his nearest competitor. Xavier McDaniel of Seattle and Utah's Karl Malone were second and third, respectively, with 16 1/2 and 14 1/2 votes.

Four others received first-place votes: Spud Webb of Atlanta had four, Manute Bol of Washington and Charles Oakley of Chicago three each, Benoit Benjamin of the Los Angeles Clippers one.

Ewing's injuries and those of several teammates helped lead to a 23-59 season for the Knicks, worst in the league. Ewing didn't play at all after March 6 and underwent surgery to remove floating tissue in the knee. . . .

The Chicago Bulls have fired Coach Stan Albeck, who led the team into the NBA playoffs despite the loss of Michael Jordan for 64 games.

Bulls Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf announced the firing in a statement, which also hinted the club already was negotiating with his successor. A source close to the negotiations it would be former Philadelphia 76ers star Doug Collins.

Asked whether he'd had a "fair shot" at running the club in light of the Jordan injury, Albeck replied, "I really don't believe that I did."

He criticized Reinsdorf, saying, "He masked the entire situation Albeck's firing by saying there was a difference in basketball philosophy . . . he wants a Knicks-type of style back in the days when they won the championship. It really involves moving the basketball and winding up with a 15-foot jump shot. That's his idea of a game."