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August 20, 2019

Walt Frazier clarifies remarks critical of LeBron James

March 19, 2019

In clarifying his comments from a day prior, Walt Frazier said he was disappointed that a role model of LeBron James’ reputation and stature appeared uninterested in his team.

But the Knicks legend said his comments were borne out of surprise with James’ behavior, and not meant as a criticism.

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“You’re above that, you’re better than that. You can’t be like the proletariat, you’re The King,” Frazier said during Monday’s MSG telecast of Knicks against Toronto. “That’s the title he wanted. People say he’s like our Muhammad Ali. He speaks for black people. He has a school where he’s teaching kids to do the right thing.”

During a timeout in the first quarter of Sunday’s Lakers-Knicks game, James was spotted on the end of his team’s bench and disengaged from coach Luke Walton’s huddle. It prompted Frazier to declare on the air, “When you’re the face of the NBA, you should be more a part of your team… And right now you see he doesn’t really care.”

Walt “Clyde” Frazier was disappointed in The King’s behavior. (David Zalubowski / AP)

Since James’ desire has been a hot topic and the Lakers are a dumpster fire this season, Frazier’s commentary kickstarted articles and debates in sports talk shows.

Frazier added more context Monday.

“My thing is the NBA is like the Olympics, there’s a torch that is passed,” Frazier said. “From Russell to Chamberlain to… So when you’re the King and LeBron is the King and the best player in the game, you can’t be like a common player. Like if that was some other player I wouldn’t have said anything. But when you’re the face of the league man, you can’t do what other people do. You have to do the right thing. And millions of kids that saw that will say, well if LeBron did that it’s okay for me to do that. I don’t think that’s the right thing to do.”

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