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Walt Frazier: Wikis

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Walt Frazier
Walt Frazier working as Knicks announcer during a game.
Position(s) Point guard
Jersey #(s) 10
Born March 29, 1945 (1945-03-29) (age 64)
Atlanta, Georgia
Career information
Year(s) 1967–1980
NBA Draft 1967 / Round: 1 / Pick: 5
College Southern Illinois
Professional team(s)
Career stats (NBA)
Points     15,581 (18.9 ppg)
Assists     5,040 (6.1 apg)
Steals     681 (1.9 spg)
Stats @ Basketball-Reference.com
Career highlights and awards
Basketball Hall of Fame as player

Walter "Clyde" Frazier (born March 29, 1945, in Atlanta, Georgia) is a retired American basketball player in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Blessed with a unique combination of court vision, quickness, and size (he stands 6'4") for a guard, Frazier is regarded as one of the best point guards in the history of the game. As their floor general, he led the New York Knicks to the franchise's only two NBA Championships (1970 & 1973), and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1987. Upon his retirement from basketball, Frazier went into broadcasting; he is currently the color commentator for telecasts of Knicks games on the MSG Network.

Contents

High school and colleges

The eldest of nine children, Frazier attended Atlanta's David Tobias Howard High School. He quarterbacked the football team and played catcher on the baseball team. He learned basketball on a rutted and dirt playground, the only facility available at his all-black school in the racially segregated South of the 1950s. After having a great career at Howard, Frazier attended Southern Illinois University. Although he was offered other scholarships for his football skills, Frazier accepted a basketball offer from Southern Illinois University.

Frazier wasted no time in becoming one of the premier collegiate basketball players in the country. He was named a Division II All-American in 1964 and 1965. In 1965, Frazier led SIU to the NCAA Division II Tournament only to lose in the finals to Evansville 85-82 in overtime. In 1966, he was academically ineligible for basketball.

In 1967, with Frazier playing at point guard, SIU won the National Invitation Tournament (NIT), beating Marquette University 71-56. Frazier was named MVP of the 1967 tournament.

There was also controversy about SIU's "small school" status which kept them out of the more prestigious NCAA tournament.[1]

Professional career

Frazier was selected by the New York Knicks with the 5th pick in the 1967 NBA Draft and played for them during which time he picked up the nickname "Clyde" because he wore a similar hat to Warren Beatty who played Clyde Barrow in the 1967 movie Bonnie and Clyde. He was named to the NBA All-Rookie Team in 1968. He was an NBA All-Star seven times (and was named MVP of the 1975 NBA All-Star Game), was named to the All-NBA First Team four times, the All-NBA Second Team twice, and the All-Defensive First Team seven times. With Frazier, the Knicks captured the NBA championships in 1970 and 1973. After 10 years in New York, Frazier ended his career as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Frazier held Knicks franchise records for most games (759), minutes played (28,995), field goals attempted (11,669), field goals made (5,736), free throws attempted (4,017), free throws made (3,145), assists (4,791) and points (14,617). Center Patrick Ewing would eventually break most of those records, but Frazier's assists record still stands.

Frazier was also one of the first players to make stealing the ball an art form. He would make sudden steals and surprise the offense. When asked about his defensive success, he answered that he did not believe in contact defense. Instead, he defended in such a manner that it appeared he was not playing defense. When he did so, the offensive player was often tricked into letting his guard down whereby Frazier would steal the ball with his quick hands.

Broadcasting career

Frazier currently works as a commentator alongside Mike Breen for MSG Network telecasts of Knicks games. He also worked with Breen previously on the radio broadcasts before his switch to television in 1997, and also worked on Knicks games with Marv Albert. As a broadcaster, Frazier has coined many rhyming phrases, such as "dishin' and swishin'", "dupin' and hoopin'", "postin' and toastin'" and "usin' and abusin" etc.

Honors

Walt Frazier's #10 jersey was retired by the New York Knicks on December 15, 1979.

In 1987, Walt Frazier was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame along with Pete Maravich and Rick Barry.

In 1996, he was elected to the NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time Team.

Trivia

  • While he was a steely, no-nonsense competitor in games, Frazier was known for his flamboyant sense of style off of the court. Bringing glamor to Madison Square Garden, Frazier would arrive at games in a Rolls Royce, dressed in designer suits, broad-brimmed Borsalino hats, and full-length mink coats.
  • Frazier is well-known as a spokesman for Just for Men hair products, along with former New York Mets first baseman Keith Hernandez. Denzel Washington's character "Keith Frazier" in the film Inside Man was named after the duo.
  • Frazier became one of the first NBA players to have his own signature shoe model when he endorsed the eponymous suede Clydes athletic shoes made by Puma. The shoe has proven to be very popular over the years, and is in its third decade of production.

Notes

External links

Preceded by
Bob Lanier
NBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player
1975
Succeeded by
Dave Bing
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