Walt Frazier

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Walt Frazier
Walt Frazier 1977.jpeg
Walt Frazier in December 1977
Personal information
Born (1945-03-29) March 29, 1945 (age 75)
Atlanta, Georgia
NationalityAmerican
Listed height6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Listed weight200 lb (91 kg)
Career information
High schoolDavid T. Howard (Atlanta, Georgia)
CollegeSouthern Illinois (1963–1967)
NBA draft1967 / Round: 1 / Pick: 5th overall
Selected by the New York Knicks
Playing career1967–1979
PositionPoint guard
Number10, 11
Career history
19671977New York Knicks
19771979Cleveland Cavaliers
Career highlights and awards
Career statistics
Points15,581 (18.9 ppg)
Rebounds4,830 (5.9 rpg)
Assists5,040 (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 Jr. (born March 29, 1945) is an American former basketball player in the National Basketball Association (NBA). As their floor general and top perimeter defender, 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.

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. 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."[1]

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]

1967–1970: Career beginnings[edit]

Frazier was drafted fifth overall by the New York Knicks, going on average 9.0 points per game and be named to the NBA All-Rookie Team during the 1967–68 season.

As a sophomore, Frazier's 17.5 points, 7.9 assists, and 6.2 rebounds per game averages made him one of the most improved players in the league.

1969–70: Breakthrough year and first NBA championship[edit]

On October 30, 1969, Frazier recorded 43 points to go along with 9 rebounds and 5 assists in a 123–110 win over the Houston Rockets.[2] Frazier was chosen as an NBA All-Star during the 1969–70 season, the first of seven selections during his 10-year stint with the Knicks.

The Knicks made it to the 1970 NBA Finals thanks to the great play of both Frazier and star teammate Willis Reed. However, in game five, Reed suffered a painful leg injury. With Reed out, chances of the Knicks winning the championship were slim. However, Reed returned to the series, playing the first two minutes of game seven and scoring its first two points before limping off. With Reed out, Frazier went on to post one of the greatest performances in NBA playoff history, tallying 36 points, seven rebounds, 19 assists, and six steals in leading New York to victory. ESPN is one of the many sports sites to call it the greatest game seven ever.[citation needed]

1970–1977[edit]

The Knicks were unable to repeat as champions in 1971, falling to the Baltimore Bullets and their star shooting guard Earl Monroe in the second round of the playoffs despite Frazier's 20.4 points per game average during the second series.

Following the 1970–71 season the Knicks traded for Monroe, who was always difficult for Frazier to guard. Not many people thought the two players’ styles would mesh, but Monroe and Frazier soon became one of the best backcourts in the league, even earning the nickname the "Rolls Royce" backcourt.[3]

The Knicks returned to the NBA Finals in 1972, but fell to the Los Angeles Lakers, who completed a record-setting season with an NBA championship.

Frazier lead the Knicks to a second NBA championship in 1973, topping the Los Angeles Lakers in a five-game series. His defense on Jerry West played a major role in defeating the star-filled team.

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

While playing for the Knicks, he picked up the nickname "Clyde" because he wore a hat similar to that of Warren Beatty, who played Clyde Barrow in Bonnie and Clyde.[4]

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

Cleveland Cavaliers[edit]

Frazier was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers after the 1976–77 season for the younger Jim Cleamons. The trade left the NBA world stunned, as many people were furious that New York was willing to let go of arguably the 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 season, when he only played 3 games and averaged career-lows of 3.3 points and 2.7 assists before being waived.

Honors[edit]

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
 †  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 .2 20.5
1974–75 New York 78 41.1 .483 .828 6.0 6.1 2.4 .2 21.5
1975–76 New York 59 41.1 .485 .823 6.8 5.9 1.8 .2 19.1
1976–77 New York 76 35.4 .489 .771 3.9 5.3 1.7 .1 17.4
1977–78 Cleveland 51 32.6 .471 .850 4.1 4.1 1.5 .3 16.2
1978–79 Cleveland 12 23.3 .443 .778 1.7 2.7 1.1 .2 10.8
1979–80 Cleveland 3 9.0 .364 .000 1.000 1.0 2.7 .7 .3 3.3
Career 825 37.5 .490 .000 .786 5.9 6.1 1.9 .2 18.9
All-Star 7 7 26.1 .449 .857 3.9 3.7 1.3 .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 .3 22.5
1975 New York 3 41.3 .630 .813 6.7 7.0 3.7 .0 23.7
Career 93 42.5 .511 .751 7.2 6.4 2.1 .3 20.7

Style[edit]

Frazier is also known for his iconic fashion sense and unique style. The website Clyde So Fly[6] catalogs and grades every suit he wears while broadcasting New York Knicks games on the MSG Network.[7]

Frazier also has a line of Puma sneakers named after him.[8] The promotional material references Frazier's "signature colorful style".[9]

Personal life[edit]

He lives in Harlem with his long-term girlfriend, Patricia James,[10] and they also have a home in St. Croix.[11] He is the father of a son referred to both as Walt Jr.[12] and, later, Walt III.[13] Frazier is a member of the fraternity Alpha Phi Alpha.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Beginnings: Walt Frazier". msgnetworks.com. MSG Networks. Retrieved June 12, 2017.
  2. ^ "Houston Rockets 110 - New York Knicks 123". NBA.com/Stats. Retrieved October 31, 2019.
  3. ^ "1971: Knicks Trade for Earl "The Pearl" Monroe to Form "Rolls Royce" Backcourt". New York Knicks. September 11, 2016. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  4. ^ Bradley, Bill (1976). Life on the Run. New York: RosettaBooks. ISBN 9780795323263.
  5. ^ Zwerling, Jared (September 19, 2012). "Kickin' it with a (former) Knick: Walt Frazier". espn.com. ESPN. Retrieved June 12, 2017.
  6. ^ "Clyde So Fly – Grading Walt "Clyde" Frazier's suits one game at a time". clydesofly.com. Retrieved June 12, 2017.
  7. ^ "Personalities". msgnetworks.com. MSG Networks. Retrieved June 12, 2017.
  8. ^ "Search → Clyde". pumacom. Puma. Retrieved June 12, 2017.
  9. ^ http://uk.puma.com/uk/en/pd/clyde/4056206378777.html
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ "Walt Frazier Is Still Living the Penthouse Life". Wall Street Journal. July 19, 2016. Retrieved June 12, 2017.
  12. ^ Newman, Chuck (February 3, 1986). "Penn's Walt Frazier Jr. Has a Tough Dad to Follow". Philadelphia Inquirer. p. C01. Retrieved June 12, 2007.
  13. ^ 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.

External links[edit]