Patrick Ewing
Danny Small, ESNY Graphic

Conspiracy theories from the 1985 NBA Draft Lottery still surround the New York Knicks and Patrick Ewing, but that means nothing in 2019.

Danny Small

The day is finally here for long-suffering New York Knicks fans. Patrick Ewing will represent the Knicks at 8:30 p.m. ET at the NBA Draft Lottery.

Despite finishing with the worst record in the NBA, the franchise holds a 14% chance at landing the first overall pick. They’re hoping Ewing can bring some luck with him. In an interview with BIG EAST Hoops, Ewing mentioned the “cold envelope” that became famous in 1985.

“Well you know, I’m not sure what’s gonna happen,” Ewing said. “I’m not sure which envelope is gonna be the cold envelope like everyone always tells me. All I can do is wish them all the best.”

The “cold envelope” refers to a conspiracy theory that the NBA wanted the Knicks to land Patrick Ewing in the draft. As a result, the NBA rigged the first ever lottery to make sure that happened.


The theory states that the league placed the Knicks’ envelope in the freezer so that it could be identified for selection.

May 12, 1985, was a monumental day in franchise history. With the first overall pick, the Knicks were able to select Ewing—a Zion Williamson-like college star in his own right.

The next five picks in the draft were Wayman Tisdale, Benoit Benjamin, Xavier McDaniel, Jon Koncak, and Joe Kleine. All were solid players in the league, but none could touch what Ewing was about to become.

The league no longer uses the envelope method. As a result, Knicks fans will be forced to pray to whatever gods they believe in if they want to land Zion. This is the biggest day for the franchise in recent memory and it’s the first step in a monumental offseason.

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