Bill Bradley Rumors
You mentioned you were a Knicks fan growing up. Although it was before my time, I know those Knicks teams were great, with guys like Walt Frazier, Earl “The Pearl” Monroe and Willis Reed among others. What did those teams mean to you, and did you have any opportunities to go to Madison Square Garden to see them play? Frank Fraschilla: Well, Walt “Clyde” Frazier just turned 76 and it seems like it was just yesterday that we were trying to buy Puma Clyde’s, when we could save the money. It was a big deal in New York back then when he signed with Puma. The Knicks probably shaped my love affair with basketball. I did go to a number of Knicks games when I was a kid. I’d go anytime my dad or my uncle could buy tickets. We would usually sit in the upper tiers of Madison Square Garden. Because I loved the game so much, I’d go to the park, in the playgrounds in New York City, and try to emulate my heroes: Clyde Frazier, Bill Bradley, and Earl “The Pearl” Monroe.
Of course, the legendary icons with their numbers retired in the rafters will be there — starting with Frazier, the team’s longtime MSG Network broadcaster, Willis Reed, Bill Bradley and Dick Barnett. “It’s going to be the same — we’re just older,’’ Frazier said. “Willis will be the captain telling us where to be. Other guys will be telling jokes the same like they used to do — like Barnett. It was fun. The sad part will be the people who were not there. [Coach Red] Holzman, [Dave] DeBusschere, [trainer] Danny Whelan. He was the life of the team — always in a joking mood, getting us to laugh.’’
That’s former NBA player and U.S. Senator Bill Bradley delivering perhaps the most trenchant dissection of Trump’s methods that I’ve read yet. It deserves to by typed out: “I think what’s driving it is that people realize that athletes are citizens, too, and have their own opinions. And I look at this and I think Donald Trump is going to go wherever there’s press. And a lot of people are interested in sports and sports is very intensely emotional. That’s his bailiwick and he knows how to divide. So he uses sports to divide people. That’s something that, to me, is so antithetical to what sports is.”
“Life is what life is,’’ Bradley said when asked if Jackson didn’t have enough time with the Knicks. “Three years and he had a five-year contract. They decided to make a change. You move on. His spirits are great. He’s finally getting his body in shape. He loves L.A., loves San Francisco where a lot of his grandchildren are. He still talks to people in the game. “Right now he is under contract for the Knicks. [A return] is not in the cards now. After that, who knows?”
Jackson’s record as president (80-166 in three full seasons) should not hurt Jackson’s legacy as a great, Bradley said. “He’s not just a legend,’’ Bradley said. “The record speaks for itself. He’s the most successful coach in the history of basketball. He did it in two places with three different groups of people. When somebody else has that many rings (13 total, 11 as a coach), you can talk about them if they’re better. He had a remarkable run as coach — a clear idea how the game should be played. And he was able to convince three sets of players that this was the way to play.”