Walt Frazier

Walt Frazier

Walt Frazier working as Knicks announcer during a game
Personal information
Born (1945-03-29) March 29, 1945
Atlanta, Georgia
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Listed weight 200 lb (91 kg)
Career information
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
Playing career 1967–1980
Position Point guard
Number 10, 11
Career history
19671977 New York Knicks
19771980 Cleveland Cavaliers
Career highlights and awards
Career statistics
Points 15,581 (18.9 ppg)
Rebounds 4,830 (5.9 rpg)
Assists 5,040 (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 (born March 29, 1945) is an American former basketball player in the National Basketball Association (NBA). As their floor general, he led the New York Knicks to the franchise's only two NBA 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. He lives in Harlem with his long-term partner, Patricia James,[1] and they also have a home in St. Croix.[2] He is the father of a son referred to both as Walt Jr.[3] and, later, Walt III.[4]

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. After 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 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, Frazier and SIU won the National Invitation Tournament (NIT), 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 MVP of the 1967 tournament.

Professional career

New York Knicks

Frazier (left) and Lucius Allen (right)

Frazier was selected by the New York Knicks with the 5th pick in the 1967 NBA draft. While playing for them, he picked up the nickname "Clyde" due to wearing a similar hat to Warren Beatty, who played Clyde Barrow in the 1967 movie Bonnie and Clyde.[5] 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.

In 1971, the New York Knicks traded for star guard Earl "the Pearl" Monroe to form what was known as the "Rolls Royce Backcourt" with Frazier. While there were initial questions as to whether Frazier and Monroe could coexist as teammates, the duo eventually meshed to become one of the most effective guard combinations of all time, leading the Knicks to the 1973 NBA championship. That pairing is one of few backcourts ever to feature two Hall of Famers and NBA 50th Anniversary Team members.

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.

Cleveland Cavaliers

After 10 years in New York, Frazier ended his career as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers. He retired in 1980.


Won 2 NBA championships (1970, 1973) with the New York Knicks. Frazier's #10 jersey was retired by the New York Knicks on December 15, 1979.

In 1987, 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.

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.[6]

Career statistics

Career highs

Top assist games

Occurred in playoff competition
Assists Opponent Home/Away Date Minutes
Points Rebounds
19 Los Angeles Lakers Home May 8, 1970 44 36 7
17 Baltimore Bullets Away March 30, 1969 44 26 7
16 Philadelphia 76ers Away January 22, 1969 22
16 Los Angeles Lakers Home February 18, 1969 30
16 Philadelphia 76ers Away March 9, 1969 18
16 San Francisco Warriors Home October 23, 1969 18
16 Phoenix Suns Away 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 November 2, 1973 46 20 28 4 4 7 5
43 San Diego Rockets Home October 30, 1969 14 22 15 19
43 Phoenix Suns Away January 11, 1975 48 17 24 9 10 3 5
41 Cincinnati Royals Home January 1, 1972 45 17 24 7 8 9 3
41 Indiana Pacers Away March 31, 1977 45 12 20 17 20 7 11

Regular season

Stat High Opponent Date
Points 44 at Los Angeles Lakers November 2, 1973
Points, half (2nd) 29 vs. Cincinnati Royals January 1, 1972
Field goal percentage 18—22 (.818) at Buffalo Braves December 17, 1971
Field goals made 20 at Los Angeles Lakers November 2, 1973
Field goal attempts 28 at Los Angeles Lakers November 2, 1973
Free throws made 17 at Indiana Pacers March 31, 1977
Free throw attempts 20 vs. Seattle SuperSonics December 2, 1969
Free throw attempts 20 at Indiana Pacers March 31, 1977
Rebounds 16
Steals 6 at Indiana Pacers March 31, 1977
Blocked shots


Stat High Opponent Date
Points 38 vs. Capital Bullets April 7, 1974
Points 38 at Boston Celtics April 19, 1974
Field goal percentage
Field goals made 16 vs. Capital Bullets April 7, 1974
Field goal attempts 31
Free throws made, none missed 12—12 vs. Los Angeles Lakers May 8, 1970
Free throws made 12 vs. Los Angeles Lakers May 8, 1970
Free throw attempts 15 at Boston Celtics April 23, 1972
Rebounds 16 vs. Baltimore Bullets April 2, 1970
Assists 19 vs. Los Angeles Lakers May 8, 1970
Blocked shots


Frazier is also known for his outlandish fashion sense and style. The website Clyde So Fly[7] was set with the help of Adam P. Thoroughgood to grade Frazier's various suits from his co-commentary appearances.

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


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