Olympic Diaries (1992): Patrick Ewing Speaks on Why It’s the “Perfect Time” to Relaunch Ewing Athletics

Nice Kicks: Talk of the relaunch has garnered a lot of interest lately, but when did you first notice the wide acceptance of your shoe line during its initial release?

Patrick Ewing: I noticed it through hip-hop and during my career in New York. New York is where hip-hop was generated, and me playing there helped my shoes out a lot. Hip-hop started here in the grassroots, so naturally a lot of those guys, like Run-D.M.C. and Jam Master Jay, picked up on them and liked what the Ewing Athletics brand brought to the table. In my opinion, my shoes grew from there.

Run-D.M.C. wearing the Ewing Athletics 33 Hi on the “Faces/Back From Hell (Remix)” single cover

Nice Kicks: From there, it seemed as if the city of New York affirmed it.

Patrick Ewing: Yeah, they connected with it and me as a player. I think they saw a mirror image of themselves. I was a blue-collar type of player. I brought my heart, my hardhat and my lunch pal to Madison Square Garden every single night. I wasn’t going to take any nonsense. I was a hard-nosed, hard-working player, and that’s how I view the people of New York City, so we connected with each other.

Nice Kicks: These days, it seems as if the players have a lot of say in the design of their signature shoes. Were you heavily involved in the creative process of your shoes?

Patrick Ewing: I wasn’t really involved in the actual design of the shoe, but?I was sent a lot of sketches of the shoes during the process. Out of all the makeups that were sent to me, I decided which ones I liked and which ones I would wear. Those are the ones you saw me play in and the ones that will come back.

Nice Kicks: With it being Olympic season, the Eclipse Hi has been mentioned as a shoe people would like to see return.

Patrick Ewing: I loved the look of that shoe, man, and it was a very, very comfortable. I really liked the fact that it was very patriotic in regards to the color scheme. It was probably the most patriotic shoe I ever wore. I just thought it was a really great shoe, and I liked the feel of it. Depending on how the 33 Hi Retro is received, you might see the Eclipse return.

Ewing Athletics Eclipse Hi “USA”

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