Walt “Clyde” Frazier is still a smooth character. The NBA legend (he led the New York Knicks to a pair of chips in 1970 and 1973), last played a pro game in 1979 but is still as easily recognizable today as any new age ballplayer. Keeping up with the times, Clyde signed on to endorse Samsung’s new Galaxy S III smartphone.
Hip-Hop Wired caught up with hoops legend to talk about the phone; which includes an 8MP camera, a dope ShareShot feature to share pics you snap directly with friends and thin & lightweight design. Besides some of the Galaxy S III’s finer points, the convo led to topics including the legendary point guard’s new Hell’s Kitchen restaurant, Clyde Frazier’s Wine & Dine, next season’s prospects for the New York Knicks and the suede Puma “Clyde” sneakers he endorsed as a player, which became a Hip-Hop fashion staple.
Hip-Hop Wired: You must get tons of offers all of the time to endorse products. What made you choose to go with the Samsung Galaxy S III?
Walt “Clyde” Frazier: I needed this man, I still have a flip phone. Up until a few days ago they gave me this. One of my pet peeves against young people is that they’re hooked on computers, but I see why. It’s so much fun. It’s easy, a lot simpler than I thought it would be. First of all it’s stylistic, it looks like Clyde. It’s got a nice screen it’s very simplistic, just touch what you want. The camera has really impressed me. You can take pictures and you don’t have to worry about if it’s right or not, cause in 1 second it takes 8 different pictures and the camera selects the best one for you. So I like that cause when I travel a lot, being in fashion and style, I like to take pictures of different things. Plus my music, going coast to coast I type in the music I like to listen to. I just got into twittering, so I’ve been able to do that.
But the first thing I went to was Google. Obviously I Googled myself [laughs]. So then I went to ‘Clyde’s Wine and Dine,’ I just opened my restaurant [Clyde Frazier’s Wine and Dine].
HHW: Oh okay, tell us about the restaurant. Where is it located?
Clyde: It’s on 10th ave between 37th and 38th [street]. It’s like a sports bar but it’s upscale. We got all of the TV’s, steaks, chops, chicken, seafood, burgers.
HHW: What made you decide to open a restaurant now?
Clyde: Timing man. Timing is everything, so being a restauranteur/entrepreneur, I’ve got to be more in touch, so this [phone] gave me an opportunity to do that. I’ve been fighting it for a while but now I see how easy it is. That’s what’s been impressive for me.
HHW: So the phone definitely fits into your lifestyle of just about everything you’re doing?
Clyde: Exactly. You’ve got to be in touch. It’s being informative. You know, information.
HHW: You were a point guard, and you were all about sharing the ball. Does that come into play as well?
Clyde: Yeah because you can share pictures with people. Like if you had one of these, we could kind of like touch them together and share the pictures and information. It’s invaluable man. I’m still learning about all of the nuances, so a lot of things I don’t even know yet, but those are the ones that right off the bat I saw that I could utilize.
HHW: You’re an OG, but young kids are still know who you are. Does it ever amaze you that it was years ago that you were playing in the NBA, but people still recognize what you do?
Clyde: It’s very humbling. Like with the restaurant man, to see the support of the Asian, white, and Black people that have come in and supported me. So many young kids like thirteen years old, who are badgering their parents to go to Clyde’s for their birthday. It’s kept me humble and that”s why I give back. I know that I’m standing on the shoulders of a lot of people and I don’t take it for granted. A lot of my peers are not doing what I’m doing. You know, the recognition, the fame, still being in the limelight, doing the Knick game. I feel compelled to give back, especially with our youth and with drugs and obesity and a lot of the things that are bedeviling them. I view myself as a very positive role model.
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Photos: Samsung, Getty