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 Tuesday, September 26
Ewing wants to end career with Sonics
 Associated Press

SEATTLE -- Patrick Ewing wants to end his NBA career in Seattle. Now it's up to the SuperSonics to decide if they want him beyond next season.

Ewing, the Sonics' new starting center, was introduced to the Seattle media at a news conference Monday following last week's megatrade involving four teams and 12 players.

Patrick Ewing
SuperSonics owner Barry Ackerley is one guy who sure is glad to have Patrick Ewing in town.

"I'm here and I plan to finish my career here," said Ewing, the former New York Knicks center and a nine-time All-Star.

"I don't want to play for three different teams or I would have stayed in New York," Ewing added. "I came out here to play and to win and to enjoy how many more years I have left to play."

Ewing, 38, averaged 32.8 minutes, 15 points and 9.7 rebounds in 62 games in his 15th season with the Knicks.

He will earn $14 million for the final season of a $60 million, four-year contract he signed with the Knicks. He has said he wants to play two more seasons after this one, but wouldn't say that again Monday.

He said he didn't seek to be traded by the Knicks just because they wouldn't give him a contract extension.

"I'm not even worried about the contract," he said. "Back in New York, they said I wanted to be traded because they didn't give me a contract extension. I didn't ask for a contract extension and I'm not thinking about a contract extension now."

Ewing said he will let his play decide if he's good enough to be offered a new contract by the Sonics.

Team president and general manager Wally Walker was at the news conference along with Ewing's agent, David Falk.

"I'm going to come here and try to get to know everybody and win as many games as possible and let Wally and David take care of all that stuff when the time comes," Ewing said.

Falk said Ewing decided it was time to leave the Knicks because he no longer felt wanted.

"I think both parties recognized that there were changes being made on the team and the environment of the team was changing," Falk said. "I think Patrick felt in that kind of environment that it was time to move on."

Falk will try to get his client a new contract from Sonics owner Barry Ackerley if Ewing plays well enough to deserve one. Ackerley was at the news conference and handed Ewing a Sonics jersey with the number 33. He wore 33 with the Knicks.

"We didn't bring him here for one year to go to a new team next year," Falk said. "It's our hope that the love affair that started today will continue, the team will play well and that he'll finish his career here. But it's got to work first."

In getting the 7-foot Ewing, the Sonics gave up seven players and three draft choices. The Los Angeles Lakers and the Phoenix Suns were involved, with the Lakers getting power forward Horace Grant from Seattle.

Walker said the Sonics didn't want to give up Grant and help the NBA champion Lakers, who are in the Pacific Division with them, but they felt they had to do it to get the center they so badly needed.

Walker admitted he was concerned about Ewing's health. Ewing has had knee problems in the past and has a surgically repaired wrist.

"We have to see how it works out, particularly related to his health," Walker said. "My most optimistic wish is that at the end of the year he's had a great year and the team has played well and my biggest concern is getting him re-signed. I would like that."

Last season, the Sonics won 45 games and finished seventh in the Western Conference. They were eliminated by Utah in five games in the first round of the playoffs.

Ewing joins returning starters Gary Payton and Vin Baker, both Olympians, and Rashard Lewis and Brent Barry. If Ewing can't play, the Sonics can use Baker, a power forward, at center or go with backup center Jelani McCoy.

Coach Paul Westphal said Seattle's success this season will depend on how much Ewing is able to contribute. The team opens its training camp Tuesday without Payton and Baker, who are in Sydney for the Olympics.

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 The Seattle Sonics welcome their new center Patrick Ewing.
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 A rejuvenated Patrick Ewing leaves New York with a positive attitude.
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