The World According to Keitho

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Posts Tagged ‘Walt Frazier’

Clyde

Posted by keithosaunders on January 13, 2011

Those of you not lucky enough to live in the New York area have probably not heard the greatest color commentator in the NBA.  I am speaking, of course, of one-time Knicks guard Walt Frazier.  One the things I miss most about living in New York is not getting to hear him on a regular basis.

As a star point guard he quarterbacked the Knicks to their only two championships in 1970 and 1973.  At one point he held Knick records for assists, points, free throws, field goals made, and free throws made.  Most of these records would later be eclipsed by Patrick Ewing but his assist record stands to this day.

As an announcer there is no one like him.  Not only does he have a mellifluous voice but his cadence is extremely rhythmical.  There is something musical, not only about the words he chooses, but how he delivers them. 

He has a way of working rhymes into his analysis.  Some people find this corny — I think it’s great.  

The Knicks are dishin’ and swishin; Ewing is dupin’ and hoopin. 

He has a great vocabulary and he uses words in interesting ways and his metaphors are vibrant.  You can tell that Frazier would have been a great jazz musician; he is improvising with words.   

It’s not just the rhymes, it’s the delivery and the timing.  When you listen to Clyde you feel as if you are stepping into a time machine and emerging in the early 1970s.  He’s got an aura of flash and cool about him.  It’s as if you can hear the mohair suit and the mutton chops!

“He [Raymond Felton] diligently works on denying his man the ball.  He’s become the catalyst for the team’s improved defense.  Then the other teams’ big guys have to try to orchestrate, but then they’re in disarray and turn the ball over.”

Recently I’ve stumbled upon a Clyde impersonater on twitter.  You can tell that this guy has immersed himself in Frazier-isms and his feed is a loving tribute.  Here are a few samples.  His name is ‘notwaltfrazier’ and if you are on twitter he is worth following.

Just saw the #Lakers-#Cavs score! This embarassin’ has little comparison’!
 
Came back from the bathroom to see Mike Breen messin’ with my chair. Not trustin’ his adjustin’!
 
Amar’e and Nor’easter. Partners in creatin’ random punctuatin’!
 
What’s with Portland turnin’ your knee into debris? Playin’ for the Blazers is riskin’ your meniscin’!
 
Carmelo’s lookin yellow with all this talkin’ and balkin’!
 
Got me thinkin’ about Willis in Game 7. His limpin’ was pimpin’!
 
Skippin’ breakfast got me stumblin’ and grumblin’! Appeasin’ with ham ‘n cheesin’!
 
Mike Breen is still mad I re-scheduled his wake-up call for 4am LOL. My prankin’ got him crankin’!
 
 Finally I direct-tweeted him this:
 
Keith:  Clyde, your tweets are delightable and recitable!
 
 And he responded
 
notwaltfrazier:  C for grammar, A for glamour!  

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Where are the good announcers of the NBA?

Posted by keithosaunders on December 26, 2010

I was watching a little of the Magic/Celtics game this afternoon on ABC and Hubie Brown was doing the color commentary.  When I moved to New York back in 1984 he was the coach of the Knicks.  His first two years he coached them into the playoffs but the next two, which led to his firing, were awful 24 and 23 win seasons.  These were the Knicks of Rory Sparrow, Michael Ray Richardson, and Trent Tucker.  I remember going to the Garden,sitting in the upper deck, and being able to hear Brown yelling at his players, exhorting them at the top of his lungs to pick and roll, foul, and play defense. 

Maybe he was a good coach but he is a terrible announcer.  Simply put he doesn’t shut up.  He fills every single second of dead air with his nasally, raspy, drone of a voice.  There is no such concept as ‘letting the game breathe’ when Brown is behind the mic.  He has a didactic way of intoning, as if he’s talking down to us. 

Outside of Marv Albert I cannot think of one good basketball announcer.  I used to love Walt Frazier who does color commentary for the Knicks.  There must be some other good local announcers that I am unaware of, but nationally they are either grating, like Brown, or generically bland. 

In baseball and football I can name several announcers that I enjoy listening to.  I am not a big hockey fan but I have watched enough games to know that they have a much higher caliber announcer than basketball does. 

So I ask you:  Who are they, and where are they?

 

Hubie Brown

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