Patrick Ewing's MSG Security Rant Watched 1 Million Times

Patrick Ewing has said being stopped by security guards at Madison Square Garden made him "feel terrible".

Ewing wrote some of the most memorable chapters in the building's history during a 15-year spell with the New York Knicks, but his Hall of Fame legacy doesn't grant him preferential treatment in the arena he once called home.

The Georgetown head coach returned to Madison Square Garden this week for the Big East Tournament, which has been held at the venue since 1983. Ewing, however, found the environment less welcoming than expected.

"I thought this was my building," he said during his press conference after the Hoyas upset top-seeded Villanova 72-71 in Thursday's quarterfinals. "And I feel terrible that I'm getting stopped, accosted, [people] asking for passes.

"Everybody in this building should know who the hell I am, and I'm getting stopped—I can't move around this building. I was like, 'What the hell? Is this Madison Square Garden?'"

A video of Ewing's press conference went viral and had racked up 1 million views at the time of writing.

"I thought this was my building. ... Everybody in this building should know who the hell I am."

Patrick Ewing was upset after he said he got stopped multiple times by security at Madison Square Garden. pic.twitter.com/r6DN9JITG8

— Sporting News (@sportingnews) March 11, 2021

Ewing then joked he would ring Knicks owner James Dolan to remind him that his No. 33 jersey hangs from the rafters at the Garden, after the franchise retired it in 2003.

"I'm going to have to call Mr. Dolan and say, 'Geez, is my number in the rafters or what?'," he added.

In a statement issued after Ewing's press conference, MSG Entertainment confirmed the Hoyas head coach and Dolan had spoken to each other.

"[James Dolan] and Patrick have a long-standing relationship; they spoke this afternoon and reaffirmed that," the statement read.

"We all know, respect and appreciate what he means to the Garden and New York. Good luck to him and his Hoyas in the Big East semi-finals."

In February 2017, Ewing's former teammate Charles Oakley was thrown out of Madison Square Garden following an altercation with security personnel.

Oakley, who spent 10 seasons with the Knicks, was arrested after being ejected for allegedly yelling obscenities at Dolan and hitting a security guard.

The Knicks issued a statement claiming Oakley had "behaved in a highly inappropriate and completely abusive manner." He was charged with three counts of misdemeanor assault and criminal trespassing.

Oakley denied the accusations and contested the Knicks' version of events during an appearance on ESPN. He and Dolan settled the dispute a week later following intervention from Michael Jordan and NBA commissioner Adam Silver.

Last year, meanwhile, Dolan draw the ire of Hollywood director and die-hard Knicks fan Spike Lee, who claimed he was "being harassed" by the franchise owner.

The Academy Award winner vowed not to return to the Madison Square Garden for the remainder of the season after being told he could not use the employee entrance into the arena, which he claims to have walked through each time he's attended a Knicks game in the previous 28 years.

Lee said his ticket was scanned as normal, before he was told he had to leave the arena and come back via a different entrance—which would have proved extremely difficult, as tickets can only be scanned once.

"I'm being harassed by James Dolan, and I don't know why," Lee said during an appearance on ESPN's First Take the following day, a claim the franchise swiftly denied.

Georgetown head coach Patrick Ewing
Patrick Ewing, head coach of the Georgetown Hoyas, during the game against the Marquette Golden Eagles in the Big East tournament at Madison Square Garden, New York City, on March 10. Sarah Stier/Getty Images