The big mystery is what Walt Fraser wears on Friday nights when he gives his introductory speech in Springfield, Massachusetts.
For the second time, Frazier, known for his boisterous suits and big vocabulary, is stacked up in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The Knicks legend has already been honored as a player, and is now a broadcaster as this year’s Curt Gowdy Award winner.
The 77-year-old former Knicks guard hasn’t lost his touch with headphones, starting in 1987 on the radio. Friday Hall festivities begin at 8 p.m. on NBA TV.
“I loved his creativity and dressing style,” former Frasier Knicks broadcast partner Jos Johnson told The Post. ‘I couldn’t put on a nice suit because everyone was looking at Clyde and no one would see me.’
Johnson, who worked for radio and television at the Knicks in the late 1990s and from 2004 to 2010, said he borrowed phrases from Frasier.
“What made Walt so special was that he was so creative on the court, and his broadcast was himself,” said Johnson, who now works with Fox Sports and TNT. “He became a word maker. I still use some of his phrases – ‘blasphemy and deception’ and ‘inausible beginning.’ He made it fun through all the loss. Because it can be excruciating.”
Current partner Mike Breen will be present on Friday with marginal reporter Rebecca Harlow and members of the MSG network production crew led by producer/director Howie Singer and Spencer Julian. It’s unclear whether Knicks President Leon Rose or Senior Vice President William Wesley will succeed in that.
Brin and Frasier have worked alongside each other for nearly 25 years, first on radio.
“When Walt was a player, he was a Hall of Famer for the seriousness of his work,” said Brin, who was inducted in 2021. “Same as the announcer. He’s not just content with her wing. And I think he’s better now than he’s ever been. It’s more than his vocabulary.”
“He doesn’t just want to teach basketball. He wants to entertain them too. I don’t know anyone else who can accomplish what he does with rhyme. Nobody.”
Former Knicks star Earl Monroe shared the backcourt with Fraser 50 years ago, when the franchise marched to its last championship in 1972-73. The “Earl of the Pearl” did not see a future announcer in the locker room, saying that Fraser was “kind of cool.”
“I didn’t think of Clyde as a Hall of Fame announcer,” Monroe said. “He understood the game, knew it well. It was a different time – the players weren’t there like today. But he took off doing things his way. Maybe the reason he’s the Hall of Fame announcer is that he did it his way. He amazed people with the way he named the game ”.
Monroe laughed, knowing he had just used one of Fraser’s favorite words: “intrigued.”
“Look how you held on,” Monroe said with a laugh.
One year ago, Monroe opened the “Earl Monroe Renaissance School” in the Bronx with special courses designed for kids interested in the basketball industry. Broadcasting is part of the curriculum. Frasier recently donated money to the school.
Jeff Van Gundy, the former Knicks coach turned high-profile broadcaster, hasn’t had much chat with Frazier during their time together. Frazier recently told The Post that he intentionally tried not to befriend coaches or players despite traveling with them so as to be objective enough to criticize him when he had to.
“I reacted a bit when I was coach,” Van Gundy said. “But now that I’m just a fan, I really appreciate his approach to all things Knicks and the league. There is no better team in broadcasting the NBA than Bryn and Walt.
Mike Crispino, a longtime Knicks radio announcer who has operated a lot of TV channels, said Fraser was a pleasure working with him.
“One of the three best partners I’ve ever worked with – Bob Cousy, John Andaresi, and Walt,” Crespino said. “Everyone showed class, dignity, respect and fairness in broadcasting. Clyde was my favorite because of his calm under pressure as a player, and that translated with his understanding of the game and communicating the nuances to listeners and viewers.
Marv Albert, Frasier’s senior TV partner, told The Post recently that Clyde has become a star because he has “become more opinionated in recent years.”
“It has come a really long way,” Albert said. “Again, he’s not afraid to give his opinion. It’s not that he’s shooting the ball, but if he thinks a player has made a mistake defensively, he points out because he was such a good defender.”
In an exclusive interview with The Post after the announcement, Frazier estimated he would likely go on for three more seasons – which would make him 80 years old. But he will cut back on road trips because of his bad back.
Frasier was laying down this week, saving his jewels for the speech. But Nix has three more years of “Clyde” – the best thing the organization can do.