It's back to Georgetown for New York Knicks center Patrick Ewing, who is spending his time working out at his old school as he tries to cut his weight from 257 to 240 pounds, as the Knicks' new coach, Rick Pitino, has requested.
Pitino says he wants to return the former all-America to the dominant player who led Georgetown into three NCAA finals. Pitino plans to use Ewing in much the same way Hoyas Coach John Thompson did.
"What we're trying to do is get him a little bit over the Georgetown weight," Pitino said. "That will allow him to play the same way he did at Georgetown. Think back on how many times Patrick Ewing outran everybody on the fast break, they threw the lob to the basket and he dunked it. So, you can't say he can't do it, because he did do it. The weight loss will help his lateral quickness. He won't get as fatigued. I think he's going to rebound and block shots. Let's see when he loses the pounds how much quicker he'll be going to the boards. It's definitely going to be an enhancing thing to him."
Pitino's offensive system will limit the time Ewing spends fighting for position in the low post. "Patrick Ewing is going to be an outstanding player in our system, a system he's geared to play in," Pitino said. "It's based on quickness, it's based on mobility. There's a lot of cutting. He's not going to be an easy target to check out and I think he's going to have a lot of freedom to move."
Ewing said he has gained 17 pounds by lifting weights in the offseason. Ewing stopped after Thompson told him he was getting too big in the upper body.