Wanting 'to win,' Ewing might be leaving Knicks

May 01, 1991|By Peter Finney Jr. | Peter Finney Jr.,New York Daily News

NEW YORK -- It was a simple question, asked simply. Patrick Ewing, do you want to remain a New York Knick?

"I haven't made up my mind yet," the dejected sixth-year center said last night after absorbing a season-ending 103-94 playoff loss to the Chicago Bulls.

Ewing's unique contract stipulates that he could become an unrestricted free agent by the end of the 1991-92 season if he is not among the four highest-paid players in the NBA.

Knicks president Dave Checketts says there already are three players making more than Ewing, so he will begin an administrative push to work out a lucrative contract extension with the player he has identified as the foundation of his rebuilding program.

Ewing, who scored 20 points but couldn't lift the Knicks on his ample shoulders, said money might not be the most important factor.

"I want to win," Ewing said.

Two years ago, the Knicks won 52 games under Rick Pitino. Last year they won 45 under Stu Jackson. This year they won 39 under Jackson and John MacLeod and lost three straight in the playoffs.

Ewing, who will turn 29 in August, stopped short of calling for wholesale changes in personnel, but he is fed up with losing.

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