"Cool" was added because of his demeanor both on and off the court. During the ten years he spent in New York City playing with the Knickerbockers, Frazier became known for his flashy style. His wardrobe included dozens of suits, shirts, shoes, and hats, as well as a full-length mink coat. His image earned him the Esquire's Best-Dressed Jock award, and Pageant named him one of America's ten sexiest athletes.
The oldest of nine children, Frazier grew up in Atlanta, Georgia. Walt Frazier developed his athletic abilities in high school there, catching for the baseball team, quarterbacking for the football team, and playing guard on the basketball team. Two universities offered him scholarships to play football, but Frazier opted to accept a basketball scholarship at the University of Southern Illinois. After three years of college. Frazier dropped out to accept a $100,000 contract with the Knicks, who picked him in the first round of the 1967 draft.
Walt Frazier was the leading scorer for the Knicks from 1970 through 1974, held their all-time assists record at the end of the 1973-74 season, and was the first Knick guard to lead the team in scoring with a 21.7 average in 1972. In the 1968-69 and 1969-70 seasons Frazier was voted the best defensive player in the National Basketball Association, and he made the NBA All-Defensive squad four consecutive years. Walt Frazier was a leading ball stealer and rebounder. He was also known as one of the best fourth-quarter players in professional basketball.
After a foot ailment disabled Frazier during much of the 1978-79 season, he retired from the game, but he left the basketball court with a good feeling. As Frazier told a writer for the New York Times, "If this is a tragedy, I wish it to everyone. I had a very successful career. I have my health, my wealth, my peace of mind. What I did is in the books."
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