The great Dave DeBusschere, the Knicks G.M. in 1985, slammed his fist in joy.
David Stern, the commissioner of the NBA, and voracious Knicks fan, announced Ewing as the number one pick in the draft of the hometown New York Knicks, followed by a crescendo of cheering from the NY draftnicks at the event in June, 1985.
And, Knicks fans thought they were getting the next Bill Russell, the Celtics center who was a shot-blocking machine and the best winner in NBA history.
Knicks fans thought they were getting the Hoya Destroyer, a 7-foot, 240 pound athletic freak who loved to play defense, block shots, and rebound, all in the pursuit of winning championships.
We all know how that turned out. As good a career as Ewing had, the Knicks never figured out that an NBA championship team needs more than one superstar to compete for the ultimate prize. LeBron James, with the Lakers last season, learned that very well, didn’t he?
Tonight’s event will excite the hell out of the winning team’s fan base, make no mistake about that. But, Zion Williamson, sure to be the ultimate prize and number one choice in the upcoming June draft, will need lots of help to turn a terrible team into a competitive one.