New York Knicks: 15 greatest floor generals of all-time

(Photo by Dick Raphael/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Dick Raphael/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Walt Frazier, New York Knicks
(Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) /

Walt Frazier. 1. player. 27. . Point guard. 1967-77

Over the course of his decade-long career with the Knicks that vaulted him into the Hall of Fame, Walt ‘Clyde’ Frazier asserted himself as one of the best floor generals the game has ever seen, the straw that stirred New York’s championship drink.

There was nothing inherently flashy about the way Frazier played the game. Rather, he was fairly basic with the ball in his hands, taking shots when he was open, but also dishing it off when a man was open as well.

During the 1970’s, the Knicks roster was filled with talented players such as Frazier himself, Willis Reed and Dave DeBusschere among others, all guys who wanted their own opportunities to score the basketball.

As we’ve seen throughout the NBA’s tenure, such situations have the possibility to be volatile without a stable presence to run the show. In New York however, that wasn’t ever a problem, as the team bought into a pass-first philosophy that didn’t highlight one player, but instead made sure the best shot was always the one taken no matter who it came from.

The way those Knicks teams played was no doubt a team effort, but when it comes to one’s offensive style of play, it normally begins and ends with the point guard. That’s what made Frazier so terrific. He’s the one who really had to make sure everyone was invested in each other by leading by example. Otherwise, no one else would.

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This isn’t to say “Clyde” didn’t look for his shot, but he also knew when to make the right play, infecting his teammates with that willingness to look for the open man. For that, the Knicks won their only two championships with him being the best floor general in franchise history.