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

Nice Kicks: There will be no 1992 vs. 2012 questions today, but what was your most memorable moment as part of the Dream Team?

Patrick Ewing: The biggest thing for me was just being there and seeing how we were treated. We were rock stars. We were The Beatles. We were The Jacksons, and it was so many crowds of people. We were happy to be around each other and we got to know each other more. We pushed each other, and we were just there balling and having fun. The whole experience of being around all of those great players helped all of us when we went back to our own teams.

Patrick Ewing with the 1992 Dream Team

Nice Kicks: Besides the roster, what was the biggest difference from playing in the 1984 Olympics and the 1992 Olympics?

Patrick Ewing: Well, we still had some incredible players on that ’84 team, such as myself, Michael and Chris Mullin. In ’84, the Olympics were in Los Angeles, and that was the biggest difference; getting a chance to play on U.S. soil. Even though that team wasn’t as heralded as the Dream Team, we still had a great team. In ’92, we were much better players than we were in ’84, and we were bigger in stature.

Nice Kicks: Your stature was still pretty big at that time though. Everyone knew you as one of the top centers in the college ranks, and we can’t forget about the shirt under your jersey at Georgetown. What inspired you to do that?

Patrick Ewing: I wasn’t the one who started that trend, but I was the one who made it popular. I was one of the biggest names at Georgetown at the time, and Georgetown was one of the most popular teams back in those days. Naturally, everything that we did, the world took notice – the black community, especially. We were a predominately black team, and the people associated themselves with us, so every little trend we did, they noticed it and associated it with us. Even with the Terminators – it was just a shoe that they gave us to play ball in. Back then, you just wore what they gave you. Now, people really love those. They looked good, and the color scheme was crazy, but we didn’t know it would be that big.

Patrick Ewing as a member of the Georgetown Hoyas

Nice Kicks: Georgetown is also where the birth of the Ewing vs. Jordan match ups began. What did going up against MJ do for you competitive-wise throughout your basketball career?

Patrick Ewing: Well, Michael is a highly competitive guy, and I’m the same way. Although we were very good friends, we tried to kill each other every time we stepped on the court. Unfortunately, he beat me more than I beat him, but it was very good competition.

Nice Kicks: You also went up against some of the best centers to ever play the game during your career, and most of them had signature lines. Is there one you admired from afar?

Patrick Ewing: Definitely, Hakeem and Shaq. People see Shaq right now and don’t remember how athletic he was back in the day. When he first came to the league, this man was seven-foot, 300 something pounds. He was very athletic, very agile, very strong and he could run. All of those guys – Alonzo, David Robinson Mutombo were tough to go up against, but those two guys gave me the most problems. As for shoes, we admired each other’s shoes from a distance, but we were really focused on kicking butts and taking names.

Nice Kicks: Lastly, fill in the blank. The Ewing Athletics brand is ______.

Patrick Ewing: It’s back. It’s coming out fresh. It’s a great shoe. I endorse it, and the price point is right. The retros are just like the originals, quality-wise.? I want people to come out and see the quality for themselves.

Ewing Athletics 33 Hi Retro Lineup

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