“Frazier picked Reed over Ewing.”Aside from arguablly being number one himself, he saw Reed and Ewing, both in their prime, and is far from a fool. Don’t be confused because Reed is a gentleman and gives Ewing his due in public. If you believe Magic and Larry honestly believe that the other is better no matter what they say in public I have a bridge for you to buy. Bottom line is Ewing had his chances to lead and win, and he failed.
It’s not about a last shot.It is about a career shooting jumpers 15 feet away from the rim when he should have been a bigger force closer to the hoop. Without Oakley at his side this arguement wouldn’t even exist. Defensively the guy never lived up to his college rep either. Reed played tougher guys, the giants of his era and the all time greats, and beat them with regularity. Ewing could not get past his main nemesis Akeem in a championship situation. Which brings him to his greatest failing, leadership.
Reed forced everyone on his team to get better, or else. Ewing led by example, and you see where that went. Reed understood that defense, unselfishness and team play won.Ewing made defense his secondary priority. He wanted numbers, not rings. Ewing would have respected Gallo’s game. Maybe he would have barked at him for shooting instead of passing it to him. Reed would have told Gallo to sit at the end of the bench, next to Bill Hosket, another tall shooter with no D, until he could guard someone.
I understand that Ewing was a damned good player, and if you never saw Reed, you would naturally think Ewing was a god. Trouble is Reed at 6’8″, was league MVP, finals MVP, and was a hell of a lot better than 7′ underachieving Ewing. Don’t believe me on who was better, ask Jabbar, Chaimberlain, Russell, Thurman, Unseld (Now there was a monster!) and any of the other 50 greatest of all time who was better. Oh yeah, Monroe, West and Frazier would be right up their with Kobe if they were in their prime and playing today.
Sometimes, I think Frazier was the greater Knick, he was certainly more physically gifted at his position. But even Frazier, and the other Knicks recognize that it was Reed’s will that drove those championship teams. Frazier knows the deal, but believe what you want to. I was lucky enough to see both guys in their prime and there is no contest. Willis was the Truth and nothing but the Truth. Maybe one day we’ll see his equal.We certainly haven’t yet. LGK