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Ewing is shocked, resigned

By Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published September 24, 2000

Patrick Ewing knew all along it was time to start over. Yet, when the trade actually came down, he was jolted, as if he had taken a hard hit under the boards.

"I was shocked it happened," he said on the John Thompson Show on WTEM radio in Washington. "I've been stunned for two days walking around."

Ewing, who spent 15 years with the New York Knicks, was traded to the Seattle SuperSonics last week in a four-team deal that also involved the Lakers and Phoenix.

"I never thought I'd end my career somewhere else," Ewing said.

He said he understood the Knicks were going in a new direction, trying to become a more fluid team with Latrell Sprewell, Allan Houston and Marcus Camby.

"I didn't feel as wanted as I did before," Ewing said. "It was time for me to go. Seattle showed a lot of interest. They wanted me."

Spike Lee, never shy about showing his emotions from his court-side seat at Madison Square Garden, couldn't contain his sadness after learning of the trade.

"I think it's a sad thing in the history of New York sports," the filmmaker and lifelong Knicks fan told New York's Daily News.

"I know he wanted to leave, but Pat wasn't receiving any love. They just voted him out of town."

Lee was among the basketball fans who filled radio airwaves, New York street corners and bars with talk of the 38-year-old center's departure.

All agreed it's the end of an era.

"This is a bad day," said Boyon Jones, 30, a New Haven, Conn., forklift driver who was shopping in the NBA Store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. "I think Patrick played for the Knicks for so many years that he deserves to retire as a Knick."

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