Greatest NBA Player #40: Patrick Ewing-126.45
NBA legend Patrick Ewing was the centerpiece of some very good 1990s New York Knicks teams, though he ultimately fell short of winning a championship. Still, he proved to be a remarkably consistent player over his 17-year career. Ewing averaged at least 20 points per game over each of his first twelve seasons after being selected first overall in 1985.
Better yet, Ewing posted at least 20 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 2 blocks over eight of those seasons. That caliber of play stretched out over more than a decade, making Ewing a two-way force. His best season came in 1989–90 when he posted monster numbers by averaging 28.6 points, 10.9 rebounds, and an elite 4 blocks per game. Considering his longevity—playing nearly 1200 games—his ranking in the top 40 in total win shares was to be expected.
As good as Ewing was, he wasn’t quite on the same level as other dominant 1990s centers such as Shaq, David Robinson, and Hakeem Olajuwon. That is confirmed in win shares, giving us an early chance to calibrate the stat with his placement of 40 all-time, which seems fair.