Thursday, March 29, 2012

Happy Birthday Clyde Frazier

Clyde Frazier gets a lot of love from everyone in New York City besides Mr. D and Blacky. Although he's from Atlanta originally and spends most of the off season in the islands, he's basically a New York lifer at this point. As arguably the best player on the only two Knicks championship teams, Clyde has a place in the big apple's sports hall of fame for eternity. For those of us not old enough to remember his playing career, he's been the eccentric voice of the Knicks on either the radio or TV for the past 20 years. While best known for his ridiculous vocabulary, and equally ridiculous wardrobe, Frazier is actually a very competent color commentator. With NBA League Pass I'm able to see a wide range of games from all over the country (and Canada) and let me just say that compared to 95% of the other NBA team's broadcast booths, John Sterling is the definition of impartiality. And while someone like Clyde might be forgiven for being a bit of a homer seeing as how he's spent over 40 years working in some capacity for the Knicks, you'd be hard pressed to find a clip of him openly rooting for the Knicks, saying "us" and "we" instead of "them" or imagining elaborate officiating conspiracies against the home team like Tommy Heinsohn or almost every other announcing team. The most you'll get out of him is an occasional "oh yeah" after a great Knicks play or his trademark "all the Knicks with the knack". There's also something nice about him sticking with the Knicks for all these years, almost every other high profile broadcaster moonlights on a national network, but Clyde can be heard only on MSG 3 or 4 nights a week. And yes, there's his way with words. "Swishing and dishing", "wheeling and dealing, "posting and toasting". And on and on it goes. A rookie is a "precocious neophyte", post players jockeying for position are "kung fu fighting", a player on a hot streak is "percolating". Coming from other less cool cats, it might come off as pretentious or obnoxious, but Clyde's the flyest dude in the room. He can get away with it (unless you're Mr. D). And more importantly, he knows basketball so there's substance behind the "effervescent personality" and "sartorial splendor". A Knicks game wouldn't be the same without him.

Clyde, we salute you.


  1. He was (no question) the best player on that team. 1970 game 7 is remembered as the Willis reed game, but Clyde won the game with 36 points and 18 assists.

    Not only does he refrain from "us"/"we" talk, or refrain from crazy conspiracy talk or demeaning other players calling them "Mr. Khardasian" or something, he also gets on questionable shots (even if they're made) and gets on the team if they look sloppy/flat.

    The Knicks have some games on ESPN with a much better picture than MSG...I still watch MSG to listen to my main man.

  2. Gun sounds the same in every language son....popopp popo popopopo popo pop pop pop pop