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Thompson encouraged the two centers to play angry, and forbid them from taking jumpshots.In the 1982 title game loss to North Carolina, Thompson even told Ewing to employ an unusual defensive strategy.The Knicks’ new center, Kristaps Porzingis, is the embodiment of everything those New York teams weren’t; a skilled, off-the-dribble big who relies on finesse and also happens to be three inches taller than Ewing. Most striking, in a league dominated by guards and wings, centers have become primarily supporting players—a land of Mozgovs and Biyombos.It’s hard to imagine the league’s best rivalry existing between two post-up players (though Karl Anthony-Towns and Porzingis offer hope).And when Mourning retired three years later, in many respects so did an ethos.
And then, in a comment about his old friend that could just as easily describe their antiquated approach to the game, Mourning adds: “You look like a dinosaur.” Perhaps, but those dinosaurs sure were fun to watch.
Who can forget the image of Jeff Van Gundy attached to Zo’s leg, looking in Ewing’s words like, “a little rag doll” (Today, Mourning is certain the Heat would have prevailed in that series had he not been suspended for his fight with Larry Johnson).
For all the drama and intensity of the rivalry, Ewing and Mourning managed to remain close friends.
Despite their battles—and in part because of them—Ewing and Mourning remain good friends. with Patrick serving as the willing target and grizzled older brother,” says Jon Weinbach, the director.
In shooting the film, the crew interviewed Mourning and Ewing separately, then together in Miami. “Alonzo is noticeably more playful around Patrick than he is solo, and his voice gets a little higher and he speaks faster and his tone almost takes on a different, radio DJ-like, rat-a-tat quality when he's bullsh------ with Patrick.” In particular, Mourning loves making fun of Ewing's Jamaican accent, which is still quite noticeable at times.