Back on May 12, 1985, the NBA conducted its very first Draft Lottery that is still used to this day.
And the Knicks were the first winners of the No. 1 overall draft pick using the new system.
With tensions high, then-GM Dave DeBusschere was relieved to hear the Pacers had the second overall pick, meaning his Knicks team would get that first pick. There was a clear consensus pick at that slot, too.
35 years ago today, the Knicks won the 1985 NBA Draft Lottery, securing the #1 pick and the right to select a dominant center from Georgetown.- Knicks Videos (@sny_knicks) May 12, 2020
Dave DeBusschere had a Patrick Ewing jersey on hand as the state of the franchise was changed forever.pic.twitter.com/HgAE0H7UJb
Patrick Ewing came out of Georgetown that year, and with DeBusschere having a Ewing jersey at the ready during the lottery, New York would eventually make it official by taking him first overall when the draft kicked off in June. And Ewing would definitely live up to that pick.
Ewing would win the Rookie of the Year award that season and would go on to become a Hall of Famer with seven All-NBA selections, 11 All-Star Game nods, and rewriting the Knicks record books that still hold true to this day.
But it wasn't just Ewing's personal accomplishments that made this pick so great. The lottery began a big transformation for the franchise that found its way back to the playoffs consistently from 1987-1999 with Ewing in a Knicks uniform.