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Mitchell Layton/Getty Images Patrick Ewing
New York Knicks Hall of Famer Patrick Ewing said he felt "terrible" this week when security at Madison Square Garden didn't recognize him as one of the arena's most famed players.
Ewing, now Georgetown University's basketball coach, said he was "stopped" and "accosted" during his visit to Madison Square Garden Thursday when Georgetown defeated Villanova in the Big East tournament.
During a post-game interview, the NBA star, whose retired jersey number hangs in the rafters of the arena, said that he was continuously asked to show his pass to MSG security.
"I do want to say one thing, though. I thought this was my building," Ewing said. "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," Ewing said. "And I'm getting stopped. I can't move around this building. I was like, 'What the hell? Is this Madison Square Garden?"
The basketball coach, 58, went on to joke that he would have to call Knicks owner James Dolan to sort out the ordeal.
"I'm going to have to call Mr. Dolan and say, 'Geez, is my number in the rafters or what?' " he teased.
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty
According to ESPN, Dolan and Patrick did speak about the mishap and the Knicks owner reiterated Patrick's importance to the arena.
"[James Dolan] and Patrick have a long-standing relationship; they spoke this afternoon and reaffirmed that. 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," MSG Entertainment told ESPN in a statement.
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After playing with the New York team for more than a decade, the Knicks retired his No. 33 in 2003.
This is Ewing's fourth season coaching his alma mater, leading the Hoyas to the Big East tournament semifinals for the first time in six years.