Ian Begley, SNY.tv | Twitter |
Knicks great Clyde Frazier was 'shocked' when Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving signed with the Brooklyn Nets in free agency. But he doesn't see those moves as a sign that the Knicks have ceded their title as the most relevant NBA team in New York.
Frazier thinks the Knicks pivoted well after missing on Durant and their other top targets - and he doesn't see these Nets teams having more success than the Jason Kidd/Kenyon Martin Nets clubs that reached back-to-back Finals in the early 2000s.
On the Knicks offseason: "Obviously they wanted to acquire some superstars and that didn't happen but I like the guys that we did come up with. I think they're very talented and they should be able to compete."
On RJ Barrett: "His versatility, creativity (is impressive). He was under a lot of duress in the first few games (at Summer League) but after that he showed his real talent and I think he's going to be a player."
On the Knicks' free-agent additions: "I think (Marcus) Morris is a very good player. (Julius) Randle probably is going to be the biggest guy that we're expecting the most out of. I like (Elfrid) Payton, man, in the backcourt. He's like a quadruple threat. He can dish and swish, he rebounds, he steals the ball. So I think he's going to be a valuable asset. (Bobby) Portis, also a very physical guy. I see him playing a little more center behind (Mitchell) Robinson, who is still foul prone. He has to prove that he can play without creating fouls. But his metamorphosis has been quite amazing, what he's been able to accomplish lately. So there's a lot of optimism with this team."
On Kevin Durant/Kyrie Irving signing with the Nets: "I was shocked. To tell the truth, I didn't see that happening. Nobody anticipated that. Early on it was that they were coming to the Knicks. So you never know in this league what players are doing or where they're going. So I think the Knicks obviously did the second best thing that they were able to do. And they still have the freedom in 2020 to try to come up with some big-name free agents so kudos to the front office."
On what Durant and Irving's signings say about the Nets: "Remember they brought in (Paul) Pierce and The Big Ticket (Kevin Garnett). So that didn't work out. So there's no guarantee that any of this stuff is going to work. But I think it's still a Knicks town. I can't see them being more dominant than (when the Nets had Jason) Kidd, they had K-Mart (Kenyon Martin) and those guys. They got to the Finals two consecutive times and people were still talking about, 'What's wrong with the Knicks?' I think it's still a Knick town but they made a lot of progress. New York's a big city but there's room for two prominent teams here."
On David Fizdale's options for player rotations this season: "He came in as a defensive guru. So last year, obviously we didn't see that. So I think now with this team, that's what he has to do. Make these guys play defense. When they get tired, just substitute them. Because one guy is not that much better than the other guy. The talent is very equal, so I think Fiz is salivating right now with the squad that he has and the defensive prowess, the young players… that are on the threshold. Obviously, they didn't have this last year. They didn't have this much flexibility, versatility. So I'm interested to see how he's going to deal with it."
On what the Knicks need to do to attract top stars: "I think it's there. Morris proved that. He was with the Spurs and then he decided to come to the Knicks. I think it's a little overrated that the players don't want to come to New York anymore. Obviously, there's more scrutiny. But they realize if you come here what's at stake if you can win. So I think the thing will turn around. Players are going to be willing to come to New York. I must say I'm not an advocate of what's going on (with star players like Anthony Davis and Kawhi Leonard forcing trades). I don't think it's good for the league where guys can dictate what teams they go to, playing together. Because you negate the draft. The draft is the key (to) parity.
"So you have this going on, (and) a lot of teams are not even going to be able to compete. You're going to have 4-5 super teams. I think the commissioner has alluded to that fact, (Warriors coach) Steve Kerr has alluded to it as well. I agree with those guys. You've got to do something to try to keep the league more equal."
On why he's been attending camps for kids for the past 50 years: "I feel compelled to give back. My philosophy today is that if I could help one kid. If I could change one of your kids' lives today, that's why I'm here…. People have helped me to get where I am. So I'd be an ingrate not to give back."