Patrick Ewing is making a return to Madison Square Garden for the Big East Tournament semifinals, but COVID-19 protocols have made moving around a hassle for the Knicks legend.
In a postgame television interview after the Georgetown Hoyas upset No. 14 Villanova 72-71 in the quarterfinals on Thursday, Hoyas Head Coach Ewing celebrated the huge win "in my house." He also expressed frustrations at MSG security that "accosted" him for passes and identification in the very same stadium where his name and jersey number, 33, sit in the rafter.
"I thought this was my building," said Ewing, who was with the Knicks for 15 years and remains the team's all-time leading scorer.
"And I feel terrible that I'm getting stopped, accosted, asking for passes — everybody in this building should know who the hell I am," he continued. "And I'm getting stopped, I can't move around this building. I was like, 'What the hell, is this Madison Square Garden?'"
He said he would have to ask Knicks owner James Dolan about the frequent stops to check his credentials.
MSG Entertainment released a statement saying Ewing and Dolan have a long-standing relationship and the two spoke later in the day.
"We all know, respect and appreciate what (Ewing) means to The Garden and New York. Good luck to him and his Hoyas in the Big East semifinals,” the statement said.
The eighth-seeded Hoyas (11-12) will play fifth-seeded Seton Hall on Friday night. Georgetown last reached the Big East semifinals in 2015. The Hoyas have not won the tournament since 2007.