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REPORT: MSG exploring Frazier fill in for road games

The GOAT is 78.

2023 NBA Playoffs - New York Knicks v Cleveland Cavaliers Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Walt “Clyde” Frazier is a staple of New York Knicks games on the MSG Network, broadcasting with outlandish style and endless smiles. Teamed with co-GOAT, Mike “Bang” Breen, Clyde has presided over Knicks games from coast to coast, usually while wearing a ridiculous coat. Check out Clyde So Fly for the goods.

However, Father Time is gaining on the fashion and basketball icon, now in his 78th year. Clyde has mentioned that he would prefer fewer road trips, although home games are still fine (he splits his time between Harlem and St. Croix). Last week, Bob Raissman wrote in the NY Daily News, “NBA TV sources say MSGN brass is considering a few different voices to fill in for Frazier, including Jeff (Shecky) Van Gundy and Mark Jackson.”

Both Van Gundy and Jackson have a history here, as coach and player respectively. And they teamed up with Breen for ESPN games until the network’s recent housecleaning. A Breen and JVG and/or Jackson broadcast could make a late-night, mid-week, mid-March game in Portland a bit more enjoyable for red-eyed fans who sacrifice sleep for sport. (Or blog writers obliged to cover said contest.)

Across seven seasons, Mark Jackson played 500 games (1987-92; 2000-02). With the Knicks, he won Rookie of the Year Honors and, as a sophomore, played in his only All-Star game. He has been mentioned occasionally as a coaching candidate for the team, most recently in 2020, when Tom Thibodeau was hired. The unreserved Jackson has been the source of controversy over the years: extorted by a stripper; locker room stuff when he coached the Warriors; the John Collins thing; etc. For fun, read 16 reasons not to hire Jackson as your coach, courtesy of the great Alex Wolfe.

So, maybe don’t give Mark a clipboard . . . but he can spice up a telecast with some crazy talk.

Van Gundy was an assistant coach for six and half seasons before being named Knicks head coach in 1996. He stepped down in 2002, after compiling a 248-172 record in Manhattan and leading the team to the Finals in 1999. Besides coaching and broadcasting, he occasionally performs as a koala (Alonzo Mourning pic here).

Walt Frazier is an all-time Knicks great, having played from 1967-77 and winning two championships with the club. He is one of a few individuals found in both the basketball and broadcasting Hall of Fame. I hate the idea of Clyde retiring, but it is coming, folks. Enjoy him while you can.