When Walt Became ‘Clyde’


This photo was taken in 1970 as the Knicks were becoming a big topic of discussion in the NBA. Kalinsky notes that before Walt Frazier became “Clyde,” the pair often spoke about potential alter-egos for Frazier.

On this day, Frazier simply walked into Kalinsky’s office dressed in green from head-to-toe, complete with green alligator shoes. Kalinsky saw an opportunity – one that eventually led to the evolution of Walt to “Clyde”.

“He walked into my office and I said, ‘I don’t think I’m going to say anymore, but let’s go downstairs – this deserves a photo of some sort’. In the next week or two, as the Knicks were really becoming an item and there was a possibility that they might go to the championship, Newsweek magazine called me and asked if I had any pictures of the players.”


“I said that in addition to action shots, I had been taking other kinds of pictures off the court. So I sent that along with the action shot pictures and this picture ran fairly big in Newsweek magazine. Then the Knicks’ office got about three or four hundred requests – mostly from women – wanting to know if they could get an original picture of that shot. I gave him a print, he brings it into the locker room, and for me – this was fun – he shows the picture to Danny Whelan, the Knicks’ trainer, and Danny said, ‘Clyde!’ It just came out. He looked at the picture and said ‘Clyde’ from Bonnie and Clyde – that was the hot movie at the moment. And that’s how Clyde became Clyde.”

The Garden of Dreams Foundation helps kids facing obstacles in the Tri-State area, including Rangers fan Taylor Ryan who is battling a rare blood disorder called Langerhans cell histiocytosis.