|Born||March 29, 1945|
Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
|Listed height||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)|
|Listed weight||200 lb (91 kg)|
|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|
|1967–1977||New York Knicks|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Points||15,581 (18.9 ppg)|
|Rebounds||4,830 (5.9 rpg)|
|Assists||5,040 (6.1 apg)|
|Stats at NBA.com|
|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 professional basketball player of 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. In 1996, Frazier was honored as one of the league's greatest players of all time by being named to the NBA 50th Anniversary Team. In October 2021, Frazier was again honored as one of the league's greatest players of all time by being named to the NBA 75th Anniversary Team.
High school and college
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."
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, defeating 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.
New York Knicks (1967–1977)
Frazier was drafted fifth overall by the New York Knicks, going on to average 9.0 points per game and be named to the NBA All-Rookie Team during the 1967–68 season. During his rookie season with the Knicks, he picked up the nickname "Clyde" because he wore a fedora similar to that of Warren Beatty, who played Clyde Barrow in the 1967 film Bonnie and Clyde.
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.
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. 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 in what is referred to by ESPN as one of the best game sevens ever played.
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.
In 1976, Frazier was selected for his seventh and final NBA All-Star Game.
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 (1977–1979)
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.
- Won 2 NBA championships (1970, 1973) with the New York Knicks.
- 7× NBA All-Star (1970–1976)
- NBA All-Star Game MVP (1975)
- Frazier's no. 10 jersey was retired by the New York Knicks on December 15, 1979.
- Inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1987
- Named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History 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.
- Elected to the NBA 75th Anniversary Team in 2021.
- In September 2022, Frazier was honored with the Curt Gowdy Award, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame's annual tribute given to outstanding broadcasters and journalists.
NBA career statistics
|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|
Since the late 1960s, Frazier has been known for being a fashion icon, and was one of the first major pro athletes to be acclaimed as such. The website Clyde So Fly catalogs and grades every suit he wears while broadcasting New York Knicks games on the MSG Network.
Frazier has a line of Puma sneakers named after him. The first Puma Clyde was released in 1973. Until that time, the Converse Chuck Taylor, launched in 1917, was the only basketball sneaker bearing a player's name. Frazier, then, is the first modern NBA star to have his own line of sneakers. The promotional material references Frazier's "signature colorful style".
Frazier's loquacious, rhyming broadcast commentary has become part and parcel of his image. His phrase "posting and toasting" — a description of player moving close to the basket and scoring over a rival — inspired the name of the popular Knicks blog, postingandtoasting.com. And his phrase for playing tough defense, "tenacious D," provided the name for actor Jack Black's humorous musical duo Tenacious D.
Frazier lives in Harlem with his long-term girlfriend, Patricia James, and they also have a home in St. Croix. He is the father of a son referred to both as Walt Jr. and, later, Walt III. Frazier is a member of the fraternity Alpha Phi Alpha.
- "NBA at 50: Top 50 Players | NBA.com". NBA.com.
- "NBA's 75 Anniversary Team Players | NBA.com". NBA.com.
- "Beginnings: Walt Frazier". msgnetworks.com. MSG Networks. Retrieved June 12, 2017.
- Bradley, Bill (1976). Life on the Run. New York: RosettaBooks. ISBN 9780795323263.
- "1967: Knicks draftee Walt Frazier earns his "Clyde" nickname for his "Bonnie and Clyde" style hat". New York Knicks. (NBA). September 7, 2016. Retrieved November 15, 2020.
- "Houston Rockets 110 - New York Knicks 123". NBA.com/Stats. Retrieved October 31, 2019.
- "1970 Willis Reed vs. Lakers tops Game 7's list". ESPN. May 7, 2010.
- "N.B.A. All‐Stars, Without Alcindor, Defeat A.B.A., 125‐120, at Astrodome", The New York Times, May 29, 1971
- "1971: Knicks Trade for Earl "The Pearl" Monroe to Form "Rolls-Royce" Backcourt". New York Knicks. September 11, 2016. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
- Zwerling, Jared (September 19, 2012). "Kickin' it with a (former) Knick: Walt Frazier". ESPN. Retrieved June 12, 2017.
- "Knicks legend Walt 'Clyde' Frazier to get Hall of Fame honor as broadcaster". New York Post. September 9, 2022. Retrieved November 26, 2022.
- "Clyde So Fly – Grading Walt "Clyde" Frazier's suits one game at a time". clydesofly.com. Retrieved June 12, 2017.
- "Personalities". msgnetworks.com. MSG Networks. Retrieved June 12, 2017.
- "Search → Clyde". pumacom. Puma. Retrieved June 12, 2017.
- Bowers, Brendan. "From Chuck Taylor to LeBron X: Year-by-Year Evolution of NBA Sneakers". Bleacher Report. Retrieved November 26, 2022.
- "PUMA CLYDE | PUMA | uk.PUMA". Archived from the original on November 11, 2016.
- Seth (March 8, 2007). "Welcome to Posting and Toasting!". Posting and Toasting. Retrieved November 26, 2022.
- Bryan, Steve. "Black tells origin of 'Tenacious D'". STLtoday.com. Retrieved November 26, 2022.
- Frazier, Harvey (February 25, 2010). "Home and Garden – At Home With Walt Frazier – The Transition Game". The New York Times. p. D1. Retrieved June 12, 2017.
- "Walt Frazier Is Still Living the Penthouse Life". The Wall Street Journal. July 19, 2016. Retrieved June 12, 2017.
- Newman, Chuck (February 3, 1986). "Penn's Walt Frazier Jr. Has a Tough Dad to Follow". Philadelphia Inquirer. p. C01. Retrieved June 12, 2007.
- 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.
- Career statistics and player information from NBA.com and Basketball-Reference.com
- NBA Encyclopedia at the Wayback Machine (archived February 27, 2009)
- Basketball Hall of Fame profile at the Wayback Machine (archived September 11, 2012)
- Walt Frazier at the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame
- Walt Frazier at the New Georgia Encyclopedia at the Wayback Machine (archived March 29, 2012)
- La Monica, Mark (November 30, 2007). "I want my Clyde TV". Long Island Newsday. Archived from the original on April 21, 2009.