Walt Frazier delivers blunt take on Durant and Carmelo legacies
Walt “Clyde” Frazier is not a fan of the modern-day NBA superteams.
The Knicks legend said Kevin Durant has hurt his legacy by hopping on the Warriors’ championship bandwagon, even saying the Finals MVP’s accomplishments deserve an “asterisk.”
“Durant, as great a player he is, I would still hold back [giving him credit] because he joined a team that really didn’t need him,” the Knicks legend told SiriusXM NBA Radio on Tuesday. “He’s right there with LeBron, probably would’ve surpassed LeBron as the best player in the game soon, but for him doing that I still don’t give him the full credit that he probably would’ve deserved if he stayed in OKC and won a title with that team.”
Frazier said Durant’s decision would hurt his status as one of the NBA all-time greats.
“He’s going to be down the list for me because of that. There will be an asterisk next to his name.
“It’s not something I would’ve done, I would’ve never joined [Jerry] West, [Bill] Russell or [Wilt] Chamberlain. I wanted to kick their butts.”
Frazier, 73, is one of three greatest players in Knicks history and works for the team as the top color commentator on MSG. The Knicks are expected to targeting top stars such as Durant in 2019 free agency, and though he’s not a fan of these super teams, Frazier didn’t rule out the fact one could sprout up in New York.
“You never know what guys are thinking today,” Frazier said. “But today’s players, they have this camaraderie. They want to play together.
[Carmelo Anthony] going to Houston with Chris Paul. They’ve had that going on a long time that they wanted to be teammates. So it’s a possibility these guys might get together and come to New York or whatever.”
Frazier said free-agent speculation is one thing, but the reality is the Knicks have to find out whether Kristaps Porzingis will be an elite player when he returns from his knee injury.
“It’s all rumors,” Frazier added. “The reality is without [Porzingis] we’re going nowhere. He’s our future. So the worst thing that could’ve happened to the Knicks, did happen. This guy blew his knee out and next season he’s supposedly coming back in January but who knows? So if the Knicks don’t get him to his former grandeur things are looking pretty bleak for them.”
Frazier also said he didn’t feel Anthony — the seventh all-time scorer in Knicks history — should have his Knicks jersey retired and feels there are a few former players ahead of him on the list anyway.
“Probably not because he didn’t win a title,” Frazier said. “I’m surprised they didn’t put Allan Houston up there. I’m surprised Bernard King, who is in the Hall of Fame, they haven’t put Bernard up there. So those two guys I think are deserving. Perhaps maybe John Starks. Even the Oak Man, Charles Oakley, but that probably won’t happen with all the stuff he’s done at the Garden. So he’s not held in high esteem right now but I don’t see them putting Melo in there because of that.”
Frazier is among nine former Knicks with their jerseys hanging in the rafters. The others are Dick Barnett, Willis Reed, Patrick Ewing, Earl Monroe, Dick McGuire, Bill Bradley, Dave DeBusschere and coach Red Holzman.
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