Patrick Ewing, a walking and dunking sweat fountain during his playing days, was apparently also a big-time germophobe, according to this cool series of stories from former NBA trainer Timmy Walsh, via Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News.
There’s so much good shit in here, including a terrifying story about Mirza Teletovic’s blood clots back in 2015, and a funny story about the trick to getting Gerald Wallace to accept occasionally missing a game, and I highly recommend reading the whole thing. But the real highlights, for me, are anecdotes about big sweaty Patrick Ewing and his attention to hygiene and cleanliness:
Ewing’s cups of water on the bench had to be freshly-poured, rather than sitting on a tray collecting germs.
“He was very aware of people who didn’t wash their hands,” Walsh said. “Patrick knew from two rooms away if someone went to the bathroom and didn’t wash their hands. He knew it. And Patrick was not touching that person all night. Two hours later, in the middle of the game, if that guy just hit the game-winning shot, he was fist-bumping him instead of shaking his hand. He wasn’t touching the guy.”
He wasn’t touching the guy? Who the hell wanted to touch Patrick Ewing! He spent the full 48 minutes of every basketball game he ever played leaving a slick of sweat on the ground behind him like a seven-foot garden snail. Shaking his hand mid-game must’ve been like gripping a warm, wet sponge. Horrible.
The sweating apparently caused the big man some personal discomfort, as well:
Eventually, Ewing and Walsh grew so comfortable together that words were no longer necessary. When Ewing touched his nose on the bench, he needed a tissue (“He’d sweat so much he just felt he needed it,” Walsh said).
At any rate, this thing is great. Go read it. And if you happen to play for Georgetown’s basketball team and expect some daggum playing time, make sure you’re washing your damn hands.