Ian Begley, SNY.tv | Twitter |
Friday is the 50th anniversary of the night the Knicks won their first NBA championship. The 1969-70 team beat the Lakers in Game 7 at Madison Square Garden on May 8 - a night that would immortalize Willis Reed and see Walt 'Clyde' Frazier dominate.
Frazier, Reed and Bill Bradley were interviewed by MSG Network's Mike Breen in advance of the anniversary.
Below are a few excerpts of the interview, which will air in its entirety on MSG Network at 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., followed by a re-airing of the series-clinching game against Los Angeles. The game will also stream on the NBA's Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Twitch channels at 8 p.m.
Here's Bradley on that team's chemistry: "I think it was the way we played, we were unselfish, we complemented each other. We worked very hard. I think people saw that. We also played a game that New York City understood. I always say that in the Garden, people would always applaud the pass that leads to the pass that leads to the basket, which they didn't always do in other places.
"I also think the makeup of the team, the personalities, the racial makeup and the geographic diversity created an environment that people saw unity in a time of division. But all of that wouldn't mean anything if we didn't win a championship. It's the championship that makes the whole thing what it is today."
Here is Frazier on what made the character/chemistry of the group special: "The personalities on that team, especially if you look at the guys today and how successful they are. It's uncanny what we went on to do after the game. We were also very positive role models. We were very cognizant of that, doing the right thing for our fans. And the teamwork as Bill alluded to.
"When I think of teamwork, I think of (head coach) Red Holzman. He demanded that we play as a team, otherwise you didn't play. Defense. Those were the staples of our game. We personified team. You can't mention Bradley without DeBusschere without Reed without Barnett without Frazier. And that's how we played the game."