ORLANDO, Fla. — If Walt Frazier and his Knicks played in today's NBA, it sure would be fun to watch them.
There are things about basketball today that just make him cringe.
The lack of fundamentals, the absence of good team basketball, the whole style-over-substance culture can drive him nuts when he watches the games.
Yet Walt Frazier — one of the first style-with-substance stars to play in the NBA — has no illusions about how his championships teams would have fared against the best in the league today.
Frazier, a Hall of Famer and one of the league's 50 Greatest Players, was key to both the New York Knicks championship teams (1970 and '73). He was huge in making the franchise one of the most storied in basketball history.
But he is not one of those who believes things were better in the old days. It's not even debatable through his eyes.
"The guys today are so much better than we ever were. They are bigger, stronger, faster," Frazier said, shaking his head at the thought. "I played for some pretty good teams, but we would just be overwhelmed today. Talent-wise, there is no way we could compete with what's out there now."
Frazier played alongside Bill Bradley, Dave DeBusschere, Jerry Lucas, Cazzie Russell, Willis Reed and Earl Monroe — legendary players. They became the toast of the Big Apple and helped push the NBA into the big-league status it has today.
He smiles at the thought of a flashback, taking those championship teams from 30-some years ago and putting them into the 2005-2006 season.
"They would just post us up, exploit the mismatches," he said. "The only thing that would keep us in the game today would be our savvy and the way we played. But I don't know how far that could take us."