Thursday, March 29, 2012

Rant #705: Clyde's Birthday

My, how we have all aged.

Today is Walt Frazier's 67th birthday.

It is really hard to believe that this basketball icon, who is now known to the younger folk as the Knicks TV analyst, has reached the magic 67.

But he has.

He was probably one of the five best basketball players I have ever seen. This guy could do anything on the court, and do it with such an air of nonchalance that not one drop of sweat would seemingly drip off his body.

He could pass, he could shoot, and boy, could he play defense.

And Frazier, who became known as Clyde because of his penchant for wild attire--a penchant which he still has--has been a New York fashion plate for years.

He lived the life, and still does.

And he is a guy that not only lived for the moment, but lived for it afterwards too.

Clyde has told the story many, many times, and it is kind of impressive.

After his playing days were over, a girlfriend of his challenged him to learn new words, to expand his knowledge of the English language.

So he went about doing so, by reading dictionaries and using whatever resources he had possible to expand his use of the language.

And he did, and now, he is well known for using elevated words on the Knicks' broadcasts, or simple-sounding rhymes describing the action. I love it when he says, "posting and toasting."

He is entertaining and always insightful.

Going back to his playing days, during the championship series that eventually led to the Knicks first NBA championship in 1970, he had one of the most memorable games in basketball, or pro sports, history.

With center Willis Reed limping on the court, Frazier took command of the situation entirely. He scored 36 points and had 19 assists, leading the Knicks to the championship.

Back to the current time, Frazier also recently opened a restaurant in Manhattan which has gotten rave reviews, so he has moved seamlessly into another area.

Happy birthday, Clyde. You are the greatest Knick player of all time, and one of the greats overall.

"Dishing and swishing"--yes, that's you, Clyde.

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