Walt Frazier Rumors

They are not doctors, don’t play ones on TV, but two of the greatest Knicks ever, “The Captain” Willis Reed and Walt “Clyde” Frazier, know something about injuries and rehab. Though both said Saturday they cannot speak to the extent of Carmelo Anthony’s bum knee, both were in agreement on one point if surgery is needed: Do it now. “I don’t know how severe it is, but if he’s going to need an operation, he should have it now,” Frazier said while signing autographs at a Steiner Sports Pop Up Shop for All-Star Weekend in Midtown. “No need in hanging around or messing around. Just have it and have that much more time to recuperate.”
TBL: Do any of today’s player’s fashion style impress you? Walt Frazier: They compare me to (Russell) Westbrook. I think (Dwyane) Wade has a little creativity. The Knicks, Melo, Amar’e, Shumpert. The thing about basketball players is that they’re like models. They’re tall and slim. No matter what they wear they’re going to look good. You put them in a suit and they’ll look sharp. To me it’s the combination of how they put it together. A lot of guys have the nice suits but they don’t have the shoes. For me it’s head to toe. That’s why they call me Clyde because I started with the wide brim hats, I had the suits. I had the mink coats. I had the gator shoes. So my whole thing is from head to toe. A lot of guys don’t do that. They don’t have the shoes or the ties. I don’t say I’m maniacal. I used to be maniacal. Playing I was a real clotheshorse. Now I just like to dress up because I’m in the public eye on TV every other night. I’m not nearly as bad as I used to be with the shoes and shirts. I used to get the fabric for the shirts. I designed them and go with the suits. I used to be really into it. Today I just get a lapel and a spread collar shirt. I don’t design the buttons anymore. It was a labor of love back in the day. To me when you feel good you look good and vice versa. That’s why I do it.
Knicks legend Walt Frazier sees once-confident Iman Shumpert now looking as if he’s not having fun. Shumpert, who was often compared to Frazier during his rookie season because of his defense-first approach and quick hands, has fallen onto the trading block, and Frazier sees it affecting him. “He’s always been a very confident guy,’’ Frazier told The Post before the Knicks’ 92-86 loss to the Pistons. “I think he just has to find his role. Sometimes he doesn’t look like he’s happy out here. Maybe that’s because he heard the rumors he’s being traded. But he’s very stern in his face. It doesn’t look like he’s having fun.’’
On the day Ray Williams passed away, was it karma or coincidence Micheal Ray Richardson was on the Knicks’ scene Friday night at Air Canada Centre? The Knicks drafted Williams with the 10th pick in 1977 to be Walt Frazier’s successor. Williams and backcourt mate Richardson were supposed to lead the Knicks back to the promised land. Last night, the Garden held a moment of silence for Williams and original Knick, Bud Palmer. Never worked out that way. “I’m real sad,’’ Richardson told The Post Friday night while watching the Knicks beat the Raptors. “He and I were like brothers.’’ Williams died yesterday after battling colon cancer at Sloane Kettering Hospital at age 58. Richardson is living in Canada, coaching the nearby London Lightning of the NBL, and had stopped by to visit his former teammates, Knicks coach Mike Woodson and assistant Darrell Walker.
The Dallas Mavericks went from NBA pretender to contender and ousted the Lakers from the playoffs by focusing on defense. And if the Knicks hope to go from mere playoff participant to Eastern Conference force, they’ll need to do the same thing. So say former Knicks John Starks and Walt Frazier. “Hopefully, the team understands that next (season) is going to be a totally different situation where the emphasis is a little bit more on defense,” Starks said Monday night at the Evelyn Sachs Steiner Home for Girls Benefit Dinner in New Rochelle. “You look at Dallas. They concentrated on offense for so long and they never got over the hump. This year they became a good defensive team … and they beat the world champions.”
No one was asking that question Wednesday about Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony , who played their first game together in a Knicks uniform. Yet, considering that Stoudemire is the NBA ‘s No. 3 scorer and Anthony the league’s No. 5 scorer, Frazier thinks it is a question that needs to be asked. “When Earl came, they said we were going to need two basketballs,” Frazier said. “Team chemistry is that important. I think it’s very crucial that Carmelo is aware of that. Amar’e has been here and rejuvenated that franchise. He’s coming in here to keep things going and be a part of it.” Frazier and Monroe were among the half dozen former Knick greats being honored last night at Madison Square Garden as part of Legends Night. And Frazier said they reason that they were – the reason that they were able to come together and win a second title for the Knicks – is that Monroe went out of his way to make it work. “Earl changed his game,” Frazier said. “He said this is ‘Clyde’s team.’ I’m just coming to blend in. He already had all the individual accolades. He just wanted a championship.”
Have you been impressed with Amar’e Stoudemire? Whom can you compare him to? Walt Frazier: He reminds me of Bob McAdoo. McAdoo had more range on his jumper. But he was elusive like that and come out on the perimeter. A good shot-blocker and rebounder. Stoudemire’s work ethic is insatiable. If you come to the game early, the man is out there working out half an hour before, working on his shot, shooting free throws. What I like is that he works on things he’s going to utilize in the game. A lot of players come in before the game and shoot crazy shots, something they’ll never do in the game. So once the game starts for him, it’s just like practice and he’s draining that 15-footer. And his passing has impressed me. His ability to hit the open man, the tenacity on the defense to block shots. Things I was not aware of when he played with Phoenix.
Do you think there will be a lockout? Walt Frazier: Please don’t let there be a lockout. My New Year’s resolution is start saving for the lockout. I’m going to have to cut back on shoes and suits. It might happen but I don’t know how long it will go. It’s difficult when you get all millionaires together. Players with egos can destroy teams. Egos can also destroy leagues. We’ll see who gives in. The last time, players couldn’t even go a week without paying their bills.
Jordan said that if he played today he could score 100 points. How many could you put up? I could probably average a triple-double, because when I played I averaged 20-6-6, but then it was hard to get an assist, it wasn’t like today where a guy dribbles, then shoots, and they give him an assist. It had to lead directly to a basket. When did that rule change? When the game became entertainment. So has Clyde changed with age? Yeah, I was kind of an extremist. I liked to go out. Now, I’m an even-keeled guy. I rarely go to discos. The things I like to do now don’t cost me money. A little walk in the park, a kiss after dark. I’ve mellowed with age.
What was the New York nightlife like back then? Walt Frazier: It was wild, man. We used to hang out with Namath. All the guys were very close. I used to start on the East Side, on First Avenue, at Maxwell’s Plum, and end up uptown, because in Harlem they went to four, five in the morning. When I look back on it, I’ve seen Miles Davis, I’ve seen all these great jazz guys. In Harlem you’d just walk from one club to the next. There was one night during the playoffs I was out late before a game, and Reed reprimanded me, he goes, Clyde, what are you doing? Get your butt to bed. You’re messing with my money.