Walt Frazier Rumors
On Friday, Frazier, 77, will receive the Curt Gowdy Award for Electronic Media at the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. He is the first person already in the Hall of Fame as a player to receive the award individually. For all the coolness of Frazier’s off-the-cuff wit — the rhymes and the $10 words that have laced the Knicks’ broadcast for more than three decades — people closest to him attribute his success in the booth not just to his intellectual dexterity or his curiosity, but also to his preparation. His enthusiasm for language ramped up once he joined the Knicks’ broadcast in the late 1980s, jumping on with Greg Gumble for segments on the pregame, halftime and postgame show. He studied the thesaurus as if there were some upcoming, life-altering test on synonyms. He would read The New York Times’ arts and leisure section and write down words or phrases that he enjoyed.
“I remember fighting on his behalf many times with people from upper management, Knicks management, because there was this impression that it was gimmicky,” McCarthy said. “Like in a lot of cases in the broadcast world, things have to gel and people have to be given time to become familiar with the listeners and/or the TV audience.” There is ingenuity to Frazier’s on-air cadence. Sure, if any other broadcaster referenced a “precocious neophyte” on TV, those might be the last two words that person spoke on air. “He’s the only one I think in sports broadcasting that can use some of these words,” Breen said. “But they’re perfect when he uses them.”
Before he won NBA titles, before his seven all-star appearances, Walt “Clyde” Frazier was the oldest of nine children, growing up in Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward neighborhood. “I grew up maybe seven blocks from here, so I was just sitting there thinking how much time I’ve spent in this gym,” said Frazier. The gym is now a part of David T. Howard Middle School. Before, it was an all-Black elementary school, then a high school, where Frazier graduated, class of 1963.
The NBA Hall of Famer received a hero’s welcome Tuesday in Atlanta as the school held a ceremony to name the basketball court in his honor. “I remember the pep rallies, I used to sit over the in the corner get psyched up, guys on the team would have our shoes over our shoulders, stylin’ and profilin’,” Frazier said.
Having retired from broadcasting after last season’s Eastern Conference Finals, Albert, 80, plans to be there in Springfield for Clyde – COVID-19 willing. Albert and Frazier were an MSG Network team from 2000 to 2004. “He has evolved into a Hall-of-Famer as a color commentator,’’ Albert told The Post. “He’s become first-rate broadcaster, extremely popular. And much of his audience never saw him play when you think about it. “Clyde is so personable with fans. It’s the same way he was – those personality traits – as a player, always with a big smile and talking with fans.’’