The Holtzman Era begins
The Knicks 1967-68 season saw new faces, including a new coach, a new toast of the town, a Rhodes Scholar, and the missing Big D piece.
The Cool One – Walt “Clyde” Frazier
With the fifth pick in the 1967 NBA draft, the New York Knicks selected Walt Frazier Jr. The Hall of Famer is the first to admit that he did not play very well in his first NBA season, although he was named to the All-Rookie Team.
It was during his third year in New York when things began to heat up for him. Even with being the heartthrob of the City’s nightspots, and the most fashionable man in town, Clyde never failed to give his all on the court. As the Knicks starting point guard, his creativity and dedication were fundamental in leading them to their first-ever championship.
William “Dollar Bill” Bradley
Princeton basketball phenom Bill Bradley was offered a contract to play for the Knicks upon his graduation. The 1965 NCAA Player of the Year turned it down to attend Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship.
He promised to take them up on their offer when he returned from England a year later. Dollar Bill kept his promise and became the team’s small forward. Bradley was a thinking player in addition to being a great shooter and passer.
Holtzman moves from scout to head coach
It was during the 1967-68 season that the Knicks’ organization decided it was time for the scout to become the head coach. Holzman was adamant that he did not want to coach. He loved scouting, and from the new direction of the team, he was very good at it.
No matter Holtzman’s argument against taking the coaching reigns, the Brooklyn native was the best man for the job. He was highly respected by his team, They all knew it was Red’s way or no way.
Dave “Big D” DeBusschere
There was another piece New York needed to climb to the top of the NBA. Red was very persistent in his attempts to get the player he had to have. Finally, the Detroit Pistons acquiesced and agreed to trade Dave DeBusschere to the Knicks for another future Hall-of-Fame player Walt Bellamy.
The “D” in Big D, stood for defense which was Holzman’s number one mantra. His jersey constantly drenched in sweat, DeBusschere was the team’s everything man, with defense being his specialty.