There are a lot of reasons why some players are kind of forgotten or overlooked. First, time. It never stops moving and as new players come in, all but a handful fall out of the general discussion.
Then there’s the change in media. ESPN started in 1979 and prior to that, hard though it seems to believe now, you might get one NBA game per week on national TV.
And also some players just aren’t that good and don’t make that big of an impression. Most people wouldn’t remember Phil Jackson as a player if he hadn’t turned out to be a great coach.
For Walt Frazier, it would be a combination of #1 and #2 because he was damned good.
A native of Atlanta, Frazier was a tall guard for his day at 6-4. Like a lot of southern Black players in his day, Frazier opted to go north for college. The 1960’s were not an easy time for Blacks in the south and segregation was just beginning to crumble in the ACC and SEC.
So Frazier opted to accept a scholarship to Southern Illinois in 1963 and, like most players in that era, he stayed at his first school and stayed for four years, too.
Frazier was drafted by the New York Knicks and ultimately paired with Earl “the Pearl” Monroe in one of the greatest backcourts of all time. He was the point guard for the Knicks in their most glorious era, leading the team to two NBA titles in the 1970’s.
Frazier set a standard for a cool style on and off the court that still resonates with Knicks fans. He was, truly, a great player, and is now in the Hall of Fame and was named to the NBA’s 7th Anniversary Team.