Walt Frazier

Walt Frazier
Walt Frazier
Walt Frazier working as Knicks announcer during a game
No. 10, 11
Point guard
Personal information
Date of birth March 29, 1945 (1945-03-29) (age 66)
Place of birth Atlanta, Georgia
Nationality American
High school David T. Howard (Atlanta, Georgia)
Listed height 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Listed weight 200 lb (91 kg)
Career information
College Southern Illinois (1963–1964, 1967)
NBA Draft 1967 / Round: 1 / Pick: 5th overall
Selected by the New York Knicks
Pro career 1967–1980
League NBA
Career history
19671977 New York Knicks
19771980 Cleveland Cavaliers
Career highlights and awards
Career NBA statistics
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
Frazier with fans signing a basketball

Walter "Clyde" Frazier (born March 29, 1945, in Atlanta, Georgia) is a retired American basketball player in the National Basketball Association (NBA). He was blessed with a unique combination of court vision, quickness, and size (he stands 6'4") for a guard. 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.


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.[citation needed] 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.

In Game 7 of the 1970 NBA Finals against the LA Lakers, widely known for an injured Willis Reed's inspiring appearance onto the court, it was Clyde who was the unsung hero putting up an astounding 36 points and 19 assists leading the Knicks to their first NBA championship.

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 "dishing and swishing", "duping and hooping", "posting and toasting", "wheeling and dealing", "winning and grinning", "using and abusing", "shaking and baking", "bounding and astounding," etc.


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.

Career statistics

Career highs

Top assist games

Occurred in playoff competition
Assists Opponent Home/Away Date Minutes
Points Rebounds
19 Los Angeles Lakers Home 01970-05-08 May 8, 1970 44 36 7
17 Baltimore Bullets Away 01969-03-30 March 30, 1969 26
16 Philadelphia 76ers Away 01969-01-22 January 22, 1969 22
16 Los Angeles Lakers Home 01969-02-18 February 18, 1969 30
16 Philadelphia 76ers Away 01969-03-09 March 9, 1969 18
16 San Francisco Warriors Home 01969-10-23 October 23, 1969 18
16 Phoenix Suns Away 01969-12-28 December 28, 1969 42 12 1

40 point games

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

Points Opponent Home/Away Date Minutes
FGM FGA FTM FTA Rebounds Assists
44 Los Angeles Lakers Away 01973-11-02 November 2, 1973 46 20 28 4 4 7 5
43 San Diego Rockets Home 01969-10-30 October 30, 1969 14 22 15 19
43 Phoenix Suns Away 01975-01-11 January 11, 1975 48 17 24 9 10 3 5
41 Cincinnati Royals Home 01972-01-01 January 1, 1972 45 17 24 7 8 9 3
41 Indiana Pacers Away 01977-03-31 March 31, 1977 45 12 20 17 20 7 11

Regular season

Stat High Opponent Date
Points 44 at Los Angeles Lakers 01973-11-02 November 2, 1973
Points, half (2nd) 29 vs. Cincinnati Royals 01972-01-01 January 1, 1972
Field goal percentage 18—22 (.818) at Buffalo Braves 01971-12-17 December 17, 1971
Field goals made 20 at Los Angeles Lakers 01973-11-02 November 2, 1973
Field goal attempts 28 at Los Angeles Lakers 01973-11-02 November 2, 1973
Free throws made, none missed
Free throws made, one missed
Free throws made 17 at Indiana Pacers 01977-03-31 March 31, 1977
Free throw attempts 20 at Indiana Pacers 01977-03-31 March 31, 1977
Rebounds 16
Steals 6 at Indiana Pacers 01977-03-31 March 31, 1977
Blocked shots


Stat High Opponent Date
Points 38
Field goal percentage
Field goals made 16
Field goal attempts 31
Free throws made, none missed 12—12 vs. Los Angeles Lakers 01970-05-08 May 8, 1970
Free throws made, one missed
Free throws made 12 vs. Los Angeles Lakers 01970-05-08 May 8, 1970
Free throw attempts 15
Rebounds 16
Assists 19 vs. Los Angeles Lakers 01970-05-08 May 8, 1970
Blocked shots


  • 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.


External links

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

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  • Frazier, Walt — ▪ American athlete byname of  Walter Frazier, Jr.   born March 29, 1945, Atlanta, Ga., U.S.       American basketball player who was one of the finest professional guards in the late 1960s and early 70s.       Frazier was named All America three… …   Universalium

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