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Walt Frazier

Walt “Clyde” Frazier Jr. (March 29, 1945-) guided the New York Knicks to the franchise’s only two NBA Championships in 1970 and 1973 finishing second and first in team scoring during those respective years. Walt was an all-around athlete in high school as the school’s quarterback and catcher on the baseball team, but attended Southern Illinois University (Carbondale) on a basketball scholarship. In 1967, he led the Salukis to the NIT championship over Marquette University. The New York Knicks took Frazier as the fifth overall pick in the 1967 NBA Draft. It was in New York that Frazier was nicknamed “Clyde” for the hat he wore which resembled that of Warren Beatty from the 1967 motion picture Bonnie and Clyde. His nickname reflected his style that he portrayed both on and off the court with his flamboyant ball handling and superior playmaking as the team leader on a squad full of stars. Clyde earned a spot on the NBA All-Rookie First Team in 1968, and was named to seven consecutive NBA All-Defensive First Teams beginning in 1969. As a seven time All-Star selection, Frazier won the 1975 NBA All-Star Game MVP Award. From 1970 to 1975, Clyde was a member of four All-NBA First Teams and two All-NBA Second Teams. He played 13 seasons with the New York Knicks (1967-1977) and Cleveland Cavaliers (1977-1980). During the Knicks 1969-70 playoff run, Frazier led the league in playoff assists with 156 in a league leading 19 games. He finished his 13-year career after the 1979-80 season as a member of the Cavaliers with 15,581 points, 4,830 total rebounds and 5,040 assists. Walt Frazier was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1987. In 1996, Clyde was named to the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History list. Following his playing days, Walt became a color commentator for the MSG Network.

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