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Walt Frazier defends controversial Michael Jordan remark in ‘The Last Dance’


New York Knicks legend Walt Frazier recently defended his controversial remark regarding Chicago Bulls shooting guard Michael Jordan, who became a superstar all over again this past Sunday as ESPN finally aired the first and second installments of “The Last Dance” docu-series.

Obviously Michael Jordan went on to become one of the greatest players in NBA history while his legacy as one of the best ever didn’t really begin until about halfway through his professional playing days.

“Early on, I wasn’t that familiar with him in college,’’ Frazier told The New York Post on Tuesday. “Anyone who plays for Dean Smith, he holds them back. Vince Carter, [James] Worthy. You never know the versatility of these guys when they play for North Carolina. He keeps them in a team system. No one knew he was going to do what he did.”

Not only that, but “Clyde” was even skeptical about Jordan six seasons into his NBA career as the Bulls legend still had not won a title. Frazier, of course, infamously led the Knicks to the team’s first-ever NBA title 50 years ago. Jordan would then go on to win six titles in his last eight seasons with the Bulls, completing a pair of three-peats.

“He broke his foot (his second season), I was like, I don’t know,’’ Frazier added, via The New York Post. “And he was having trouble and complaining because he couldn’t beat the Pistons (1987-88, 1988-89, 1989-90). He was crying he thought the general manager didn’t know what he was doing. That was when I still wasn’t sure if he’d be able to carry a team and make the next step. Then all of a sudden it happened.”

The Knicks have not been to the NBA Finals since 1999-00 when New York was swept by the heralded San Antonio Spurs. Overall, the Knicks have won a pair of titles — in 1970 and 1973 — both of which came thanks to the efforts of Frazier.