Patrick Ewing, minutes after training at Georgetown for a thrilling victory over rival Villanova in the Big East tournament, said he was upset about the security he encountered this week at Madison Square Garden, the centerpiece of his NBA Hall of Fame career.

The Hoyas’ 72-71 victory over the Wildcats was perhaps the most important of Ewing’s coaching career. However, the former New York Knicks star said after the game that he had been arrested and charged at Madison Square Garden.

But I want to say one thing. I thought it was my building, Ewing said Thursday. And I feel bad when I’m arrested, accused and asked for ID.

Everyone in this building needs to know who I am, and I’m under arrest. …. I can’t move in this building. I am: What the hell is this? Is this Madison Square Garden?

Thursday afternoon, it was still unclear who had arrested Ewing, the NBA icon who, along with Eli Manning and Derek Jeter, is on the short list of the most recognizable athletes to have played for a New York team.

I thought it was my building, and I feel bad about getting arrested, getting sued, asking (people) for ID. Everyone in this building needs to know who I am, and I’m under arrest. …. I can’t move in this building. I am: What the hell is this? Is this Madison Square Garden?

Georgetown coach and former Knicks star Patrick Ewing.

The 6-foot-9 big man was an 11-time All-Star and averaged 22.8 points, 10.4 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game in 15 seasons with the Knicks. He reached the NBA Finals twice during his time in New York (1994, 1999).

The Knicks fell back to 33rd place in 2003, and the coach turned player joked that he would remind Knicks owner and Madison Square Garden general manager James Dolan that his jersey was still hanging in the rafters.

I need to see Mr. Call Dolan and tell him My God, is my number in the rafters or what? he said.

Security policies and protocols at major sporting events across the country, including Madison Square Garden, have changed significantly as a result of COVID-19.

But Ewing isn’t the first Knicks legend to feel disrespected in his former arena, either.

In 2017, Charles Oakley was removed from the game and arrested after an altercation with building security. Last year, filmmaker and Knicks fan Spike Lee said he could no longer watch his favorite team’s home games after discovering he could no longer use the service entrance to get to his seat on the field.

Ewing is in his fourth season as coach of his alma mater, while the Hoyas are on their way to the Big East Tournament semifinals for the first time in six years.

Dante Harris scored 18 points and made two free throws with 4.7 seconds left in a perfect game from the line for eighth-seeded Georgetown (11-12), which defeated Son Hall Friday night in St. Louis. St. John’s. Georgetown has not won a conference tournament since 2007.

Villanova, which has won the last three Conference tournament titles, had won four games in a row prior to Thursday and 13 of 15 against the Hoyas.

We were playing against Cadillac, Bentley, whatever you want to call them, the Big East – the Big East class. And we were. But we took a big step forward in taking them down, Ewing said.

Georgetown needs a Big East tournament title to reach the field of 68 for the NCAA Tournament on Sunday. Despite a 5-10 start to the season, the Hoyas have won six of their last eight games, including victories over Villanova, Xavier and Seton Hall.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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