Walt Frazier

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Walt Frazier
Walt frazier.jpg
Walt Frazier working as Knicks announcer during a game
Personal information
Born (1945-03-29) March 29, 1945 (age 72)
Atlanta, Georgia
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Listed weight 200 lb (91 kg)
Career information
High school David T. Howard (Atlanta, Georgia)
College Southern Illinois (1963–1967)
NBA draft 1967 / Round: 1 / Pick: 5th overall
Selected by the New York Knicks
Playing career 1967–1980
Position Point guard
Number 10, 11
Career history
19671977 New York Knicks
19771980 Cleveland Cavaliers
Career highlights and awards
Career statistics
Points 15,581 (18.9 ppg)
Rebounds 4,830 (5.9 rpg)
Assists 5,040 (6.1 apg)
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com
Basketball Hall of Fame as player
College Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2006

Walter "Clyde" Frazier (born March 29, 1945) is an American former basketball player in the National Basketball Association. As their floor general, he led the New York Knicks to the franchise's only two championships (1970 and 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 a color commentator for telecasts of Knicks games on the MSG Network. He lives in Harlem with his long-term partner, Patricia James,[1] and they also have a home in St. Croix.[2] He is the father of a son referred to both as Walt Jr.[3] and, later, Walt III.[4] Frazier is a member of the prestigious fraternity Alpha Phi Alpha.

High school and college[edit]

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 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, saying that "there were no black quarterbacks, so I played basketball."[5]

Frazier became one of the premier collegiate basketball players in the country, he was named a Division II All-American in 1964 and 1965. As a sophomore in 1965, Frazier led SIU to the NCAA Division II Tournament, only to lose in the finals to Jerry Sloan and the Evansville Purple Aces. 85-82 in overtime. In 1966, he was academically ineligible for basketball.

SIU moved up from Division II to Division I in 1967, and Frazier and SIU won the National Invitation Tournament, beating Marquette University 71-56 in the final, in the last college basketball game played at the old Madison Square Garden in New York. Frazier was named Most Valuable Player of the 1967 tournament.

Professional career[edit]

New York Knicks[edit]

Career Beginnings[edit]

Frazier was drafted 5th overall by the New York Knicks, he scored just 2 points in a 13 point loss against the Detroit Pistons in his NBA debut, and became one of five NBA players to be named to the NBA All-Rookie team during the 1967-68 NBA season.

After averaging only 9.0 points per game during his rookie year, Frazier’s 17.5 points, 7.9 assists, and 6.2 rebounds per game averages in his second year playing for New York made him one of the most improved players in the league.

1970 Breakthrough Year and First NBA Championship[edit]

Frazier was chosen for the All-Star team for the first time of his career during the 1969-70 NBA season, he would go on to be selected to 7 all-star teams over the course of his 10-year stint with the Knicks.

The Knicks were able to make it all the way to the NBA finals during the 1969-70 NBA playoffs thanks to the great play of both Walt Frazier and star teammate Willis Reed. However, in game 5, Reed got a horrific leg injury, making him unable to walk for the next few days, with Reed out, chances of the Knicks winning the championship were slim. However, Reed somehow returned to the series, playing the first two minutes of game seven and scores the first two points of the game. Reed was simply in too much pain to continue to play for the last 46 minutes of the game, meaning that it was up to Frazier to lead New York to the victory. Frazier scored 36 points, had 19 assists, 7 rebounds, and 6 steals that game, his astounding performance is arguably the greatest game in NBA playoff history, as it was the only reason why New York was able to defeat the Lakers and win the championship. ESPN is one of the many websites to call Frazier’s incredible game the greatest game 7 performance ever.

Career Takes off[edit]

Despite the championship win in 1970, the Knicks wanted to make some major changes to their team after the glorious season they had the year before, they traded for star shooting guard Earl Monroe, someone who always gave Walt Frazier issues when defending him. Although not many people thought that he could fit in with Walt, he and Frazier soon become known as one of the best backcourts in the league, even earning the nickname “the Rolls Royce Backcourt.”

New York struggled mightily at first after the addition of Earl Monroe, and were unable to make it past the second round of the playoffs despite Frazier’s great 20.4 points per game average during the second series.

Frazier and the Knicks once again won the NBA championship in 1973, defeating the Los Angeles Lakers in a quick 5-game series. Frazier’s defense on NBA superstar Jerry West played a major role in defeating the star-filled team, this would be the second and final NBA title the Knicks would ever win, meaning that Walt Frazier was a member of every championship Knick team in NBA history.

In 1976, Frazier was selected for his seventh and final NBA All-Star team.

While playing for them, he picked up the nickname "Clyde" because he wore a hat similar hat that of Warren Beatty, who played Clyde Barrow in the 1967 movie Bonnie and Clyde.[6] He was named to the NBA All-Rookie Team in 1968.

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 eventually broke most of those records, but Frazier's assists record still stands.

Cleveland Cavaliers[edit]

After 10 years in New York, Frazier ended his career as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Frazier was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers after the 1976-77 NBA season for the younger Jim Clemons, the trade left the NBA world stunned, as hundreds of people were furious that New York was willing to let go of arguably their greatest player in franchise history. Frazier played only 66 games over the course of three seasons with the Cavaliers, he retired midway through the 1979-80 NBA season, where he only played 3 games and averaged career-lows of 3.3 points and 2.7 assists before being waived.

Honors[edit]

Won 2 NBA championships (1970, 1973) with the New York Knicks.

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

Inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, with Pete Maravich and Rick Barry in 1987

Elected to the NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time Team in 1996.

In September 2012, Frazier was honored by the Ride of Fame and a double-decker tour bus in New York City was dedicated to him.[7]

NBA career statistics[edit]

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high
Denotes season in which Frazier won an NBA championship

Regular season[edit]

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
1967–68 New York 74 21.5 .451 .655 4.2 4.1 9.0
1968–69 New York 80 36.9 .505 .746 6.2 7.9 17.5
1969–70 New York 77 39.5 .518 .748 6.0 8.2 20.9
1970–71 New York 80 43.2 .494 .779 6.8 6.7 21.7
1971–72 New York 77 40.6 .512 .808 6.7 5.8 23.2
1972–73 New York 78 40.8 .490 .817 7.3 5.9 21.1
1973–74 New York 80 41.7 .472 .838 6.7 6.9 2.0 0.2 20.5
1974–75 New York 78 41.1 .483 .828 6.0 6.1 2.4 0.2 21.5
1975–76 New York 59 41.1 .485 .823 6.8 5.9 1.8 0.2 19.1
1976–77 New York 76 35.4 .489 .771 3.9 5.3 1.7 0.1 17.4
1977–78 Cleveland 51 32.6 .471 .850 4.1 4.1 1.5 0.3 16.2
1978–79 Cleveland 12 23.3 .443 .778 1.7 2.7 1.1 0.2 10.8
1979–80 Cleveland 3 9.0 .364 .000 1.000 1.0 2.7 0.7 0.3 3.3
Career 825  ? 37.5 .490 .000 .786 5.9 6.1 1.9 0.2 18.9
All-Star 7 7 26.1 .449 .857 3.9 3.7 1.3 0.0 12.6

Playoffs[edit]

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
1968 New York 4 29.8 .364 .778 5.5 6.3 9.5
1969 New York 10 41.5 .503 .596 7.4 9.1 21.2
1970 New York 19 43.9 .478 .764 7.8 8.2 16.0
1971 New York 12 41.8 .529 .733 5.8 4.5 22.6
1972 New York 16 44.0 .536 .736 7.0 6.1 24.3
1973 New York 17 45.0 .514 .777 7.3 6.2 21.9
1974 New York 12 40.9 .502 .898 7.9 4.0 1.8 0.3 22.5
1975 New York 3 41.3 .630 .813 6.7 7.0 3.7 0.0 23.7
Career 93  ? 42.5 .511 .751 7.2 6.4 2.1 0.3 20.7

Career highlights[edit]

Top assist games[edit]

Occurred in playoff competition
Assists Opponent Home/Away Date Minutes
played
Points Rebounds
19 Los Angeles Lakers Home May 8, 1970 44 36 7
17 Baltimore Bullets Away March 30, 1969 44 26 7
16 Philadelphia 76ers Away January 22, 1969 22
16 Los Angeles Lakers Home February 18, 1969 30
16 Philadelphia 76ers Away March 9, 1969 18
16 San Francisco Warriors Home October 23, 1969 18
16 Phoenix Suns Away December 28, 1969 42 12 1

40 point games[edit]

Frazier scored 40 or more points five times in the regular season.

Points Opponent Home/Away Date Minutes
played
FGM FGA FTM FTA Rebounds Assists
44 Los Angeles Lakers Away November 2, 1973 46 20 28 4 4 7 5
43 San Diego Rockets Home October 30, 1969 14 22 15 19
43 Phoenix Suns Away January 11, 1975 48 17 24 9 10 3 5
41 Cincinnati Royals Home January 1, 1972 45 17 24 7 8 9 3
41 Indiana Pacers Away March 31, 1977 45 12 20 17 20 7 11

Regular season[edit]

Stat High Opponent Date
Points 44 at Los Angeles Lakers November 2, 1973
Points, half (2nd) 29 vs. Cincinnati Royals January 1, 1972
Field goal percentage 18—22 (.818) at Buffalo Braves December 17, 1971
Field goals made 20 at Los Angeles Lakers November 2, 1973
Field goal attempts 28 at Los Angeles Lakers November 2, 1973
Free throws made 17 at Indiana Pacers March 31, 1977
Free throw attempts 20 vs. Seattle SuperSonics December 2, 1969
Free throw attempts 20 at Indiana Pacers March 31, 1977
Rebounds 16
Steals 6 at Indiana Pacers March 31, 1977
Blocked shots

Playoffs[edit]

Stat High Opponent Date
Points 38 vs. Capital Bullets April 7, 1974
Points 38 at Boston Celtics April 19, 1974
Field goal percentage
Field goals made 16 vs. Capital Bullets April 7, 1974
Field goal attempts 31
Free throws made, none missed 12—12 vs. Los Angeles Lakers May 8, 1970
Free throws made 12 vs. Los Angeles Lakers May 8, 1970
Free throw attempts 15 at Boston Celtics April 23, 1972
Rebounds 16 vs. Baltimore Bullets April 2, 1970
Assists 19 vs. Los Angeles Lakers May 8, 1970
Steals
Blocked shots

Style[edit]

Frazier is also known for his iconic fashion sense and unique style, the website Clyde So Fly[8] catalogs and grades every suit he wears while broadcasting New York Knicks games on the MSG Network.[9]

Frazier also has a line of Puma sneakers named after him,[10] the promotional material references Frazier's "signature colorful style".[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Frazier, Harvey (February 25, 2010). "Home and Garden – At Home With Walt Frazier – The Transition Game". New York Times. p. D1. Retrieved June 12, 2017. 
  2. ^ "Walt Frazier Is Still Living the Penthouse Life". Wall Street Journal. July 19, 2016. Retrieved June 12, 2017. (Subscription required (help)). 
  3. ^ Newman, Chuck (February 3, 1986). "Penn's Walt Frazier Jr. Has a Tough Dad to Follow". Philadelphia Inquirer. p. C01. Retrieved June 12, 2007. (Subscription required (help)). 
  4. ^ Hughes, C.J. (June 12, 2011). "Q & A with Walt Frazier III, Keller Williams broker and son of NBA great". therealdeal.com. The Real Deal – New York Real Estate News. Retrieved June 12, 2017. 
  5. ^ "Beginnings: Walt Frazier". msgnetworks.com. MSG Networks. Retrieved June 12, 2017. 
  6. ^ Bradley, Bill (1976). Life on the Run. New York: RosettaBooks. ISBN 9780795323263. 
  7. ^ Zwerling, Jared (September 19, 2012). "Kickin' it with a (former) Knick: Walt Frazier". espn.com. ESPN. Retrieved June 12, 2017. 
  8. ^ "Clyde So Fly – Grading Walt "Clyde" Frazier's suits one game at a time". clydesofly.com. Retrieved June 12, 2017. 
  9. ^ "Personalities". msgnetworks.com. MSG Networks. Retrieved June 12, 2017. 
  10. ^ "Search → Clyde". pumacom. Puma. Retrieved June 12, 2017. 
  11. ^ http://uk.puma.com/uk/en/pd/clyde/4056206378777.html

External links[edit]