Ewing does tend to cloak his emotions, but not nearly so much as he once did. He steadfastly declines to reveal much about his personal life, sometimes pulling back at seemingly arbitrary points. He told reporters that his wife, Rita, had cooked something for him in the wee hours of the morning when he couldn't sleep before one of the postseason games against the Bulls; but when asked what she cooked, he refused to say. But his desire for this championship is too strong for him to conceal. He predicted before the playoffs that the Knicks would win it all, and when they left for Indiana for Game 6, his only statement to the media was a defiant "See you Sunday"—for Game 7.
"I just want my teammates to know I believe that this is our year and that I believe in them," he says. "Sometimes you have to make some statements, you have to go out on a limb a little bit to show how much you are committed to winning."
After all these years no one can question Ewing's or Olajuwon's commitment to winning. Mutombo is right. The shame of it is that there are not two glasses of water for these two parched throats. But the joy of it is that one of them will get to take a long, sweet drink.