In 2000, the -then- New York Knicks president Dave Checketts sent Patrick Ewing to Seattle Supersonics for Glenn Rice, a late first-round pick and several “spare parts”.
The Knicks had 13 consecutive post-season appearances with Ewing as the leader of their main core. Since the trade, the Knicks have only made the playoffs five times in the following twenty seasons.
Checketts, who gave an interview to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News, has made the decision based on Ewing’s will to finish his career away from New York.
That’s what Dave Checketts said on the Ewing trade per Fansided.com:
“A lot of people look back on it now and say that’s where the downturn of the Knicks started, but if you’re going to blame trading Patrick Ewing at 38 years old for starting the mess, you’re completely uninformed,” Checketts told Stefan Bondy.
“Did we do a good deal? No. Did we have a good deal on the table to do? No. But I felt — and this is me — I felt that we owed Patrick Ewing something. The guy had gone hard the whole time he was with us. He had done everything we could possibly ask of him, and now he was sincerely saying to me, ‘I want to go. I don’t want finish my career in New York. I don’t want to be under the microscope. I don’t want the New York press calling for me to sit out. I want to be somewhere else.’ And his choice was Seattle, and that’s the team we made the deal with.”
The Hall of Famer averaged almost 23 points, 10.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game in his 15 seasons with the New York Knicks franchise.