What the package doesn't reveal, mysteriously, is a dominant rebounder. "It's the one part of his game that's missing," says the Boston Celtics' Larry Bird. Ewing has the size, hands, jumping ability and aggressive on-the-court personality associated with accomplished rebounders, yet he has never finished in the top 10 in that category, although this finally may be the season: He is ninth in the league (10.2).
"Patrick talks about it a lot more than we do," says Knick assistant Paul Silas, one of the NBA's best rebounders during his playing days. "With all the other things he does, we're not particularly worried about it."
Ewing is, though. "It's something I'm conscious of every day," he says, "and I will improve." Don't bet against Ewing's becoming a monster rebounder.
Away from the court, Ewing hardly lights up New York. He spends a lot of time in the off-season with his five-year-old son, Patrick Ewing Jr., but the youngster lives in Boston with his mother, and it's hard for Ewing to see him during the season. Ewing lives in Fort Lee, N.J., and can usually be found with teammate Kenny Walker, arguing about music (Ewing likes the music of his native Jamaica, Walker prefers rap) or food (Walker admits he enjoys a few Jamaican staples, such as curried goat) or the relative merits of Georgetown and Kentucky, Walker's alma mater. They are both serious shoppers, but won't be found on Fifth Avenue.
"Patrick doesn't like the crowds," says Walker, "so most of the time we just hit the malls in Paramus [another suburban New Jersey town]."
Hmm, Paramus Pat. Doesn't have much of a ring to it. But to Ewing, a lunchpail superstar, it probably sounds just right.