Every New York Knicks fan knows the “Willis Reed Game” as a legendary moment and it wouldn’t have happened without Walt “Clyde” Frazier.
Walt “Clyde” Frazier has a favorite memory from his time with the New York Knicks. Most know it as the “Willis Reed Game,” but Clyde remembers that game for a different reason.
At a Puma event on Monday, Frazier reflected on that legendary Game 7.
.@WaltFrazier says they call Game 7 of the 1970 NBA Finals the “Willis Reed Game,” but that’s “bulls***.”
Clyde reminds the crowd he had the game of his life. @PUMAHoops @nyknicks 🏀💍🗽 pic.twitter.com/vhalunscWh
— Jeff Eisenband (@JeffEisenband) September 16, 2019
“Obviously, Game 7. They called it the “Willis Reed Game” and I called it bullshit,” Clyde said with a laugh. “Willis inspired us. He made the first two shots and set the tempo. I had 36 points, 19 assists, seven rebounds, four steals, and sold hot dogs at halftime.
“I had the game of my life and the Knicks would win their first championship.”
Willis Reed was dealing with a muscle tear in his thigh but hobbled out onto the court to play anyway. The big man was the heart and soul of the Knicks and they needed his energy.
Reed taking the floor and scoring two baskets, against all odds, stole the show in Game 7 of the 1970 NBA Finals. There’s no doubt about that.
With all that said, the Knicks would have had no shot without Clyde playing the game of his life. Scoring 36 points and dishing out 19 assists is impressive in any game against any competition. It’s even more remarkable when it comes in Game 7 of the NBA Finals against Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, and Wilt Chamberlain.
In that series, Frazier posted a stat line of 17.6 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 10.4 assists per game. He also led the team in minutes per game with 43.3.
Nearly 50 years later, Frazier’s ridiculous performance in Game 7 still ranks among the greatest NBA Finals games in history. The world will always remember that as the “Willis Reed Game” but we all know Clyde played a major role in clinching the franchise’s first NBA title.