By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com
While Patrick Ewing Jr. possesses the least NBA playing experience (7 career regular season games) on New Orleans roster, hes probably witnessed the raucous environment of the postseason more than any of his teammates. Ewings father is the Hall of Fame center who starred for the New York Knicks from 1985-2000, meaning the younger Ewing started attending NBA playoff games when he was barely old enough to walk.
Some NBA players say that the first professional basketball game they ever attended was one they played in, but the 26-year-old Ewing who was born in 1984 laughs and says, I dont even remember the first NBA game I went to. Ive been around it for way too long.
The 6-foot-8, 235-pound forward also has been a frequent spectator at Orlando Magic postseason games in recent years, because his dad is an Orlando assistant coach under Stan Van Gundy. Ewing Jr. vividly remembers watching the Magic face the Lakers in the 2009 NBA Finals.
It was great, just to be in the building, he said. You can see how motivated and focused everyone is during the Finals. Even though my dad is a coach, you could see his focus. He wasnt concentrating on anything else.
Like his famous father, Ewing Jr. played collegiately at Georgetown, helping spark the Hoyas to a 2008 Final Four appearance, so hes not a complete stranger to playing in big games, either. After being picked in the second round of the 2008 NBA Draft by Sacramento, he spent parts of two seasons in the D-League, before being promoted to the Hornets on March 26.
In other words, in the span of a few weeks, Ewing went from a member of the Sioux Falls Skyforce who was hoping for a chance to prove himself in the NBA, to suiting up for a team headed to the playoffs. He clearly appreciates the positive twist of fate.
The last month has been great, he said. I was on a last-place team in the D-League. It was great not only to get called up (to the NBA), but called up to a team that was in the postseason. Ewing smiled, before adding: My season is going to be a little longer than expected.
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