Ten reasons Walt Frazier was the biggest stud in the '70s
Walt Frazier, former point guard for the New York Knicks, turned 70 Sunday. Currently a color commentator for the Knicks, Frazier is known by a younger generation of fans for his catchy rhymes and colorful, flashy suits. However, little do they know that he was the biggest stud in the 1970s.
Frazier may have never averaged double-digit assists in any season, but his 6.1 assists per game career average is proof enough that he could pass with the best of them. He had phenomenal court vision, and he threw lightning-quick passes to his teammates.
What do Batman, Larry David and Frazier have in common? They can each pull off wearing a cape and look good while doing it.
Frazier's on-court play was matched by his boisterous off-the-court personality. Just check out his bedroom. Big, round bed? Check. Mirrored ceiling? Check. The man certainly knew how to party.
While Game 7 of the 1970 NBA Finals is most often remembered for Willis Reed inspiring the team by suiting up and playing while injured, Frazier deserves all the credit for the Knicks winning that game and series against the Los Angeles Lakers. Frazier put on a performance for the ages with 36 points, 19 assists and seven rebounds, and he delivered the first of two championships in franchise history.
Frazier certainly didn't have matador defense. He was named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team seven times, and was known for being an aggressive defender. The NBA didn't even start logging steals until Frazier's seventh season in the league, but he averaged 1.9 steals per game over the final seven seasons of his career.
Frazier was a born leader. As teammate Reed once famously said to Sport magazine, "It's Clyde's ball. He just lets us play with it once in a while."
While he was more than content with sharing the ball, Frazier could trade buckets with the league's best scorers and completely take over a game if called upon to do so. He was one of the greatest players in league history, as evidenced by his selection to four All-NBA First Teams and two All-NBA Second Teams. He was also a seven-time NBA All-Star and named to the NBA's 50th Anniversary Team.
Frazier, undoubtedly, has one of the most unique wardrobes the world has ever seen. Only he can pull off even half the things that he has worn over the years. His nickname, Clyde, was inspired by the trademark hat he was often seen wearing during his heyday, which was similar to the one worn by Warren Beatty from the Bonnie and Clyde movie.
Frazier had a winning personality, and he was loved by all. Just look at that infectious smile and those muttonchops going down the sides of his face. How could you not love him?
Walt Frazier and Earl Monroe, best known as the "Rolls Royce Backcourt", were one of the most exciting duos in the history of the league. There were concerns the two would not mesh after Monroe was first brought aboard, but their chemistry eventually blossomed and it helped lead the Knicks to their second title. They'll go down as one of the best one-two backcourt punches of all time.
New York is often called the mecca of basketball, and Madison Square Garden was its palace. The championship-winning Knicks teams from the '70s were one of the most exciting teams the league has ever seen, and it wouldn't have been possible without Frazier spearheading their attack.