Walt Frazier shows clothes does make the man

Sun, Apr 17

Question: how does a man decide between a brown-and-black-spotted cow-print suit -- note: made from polyester, probably because laugh-induced tears would cause cotton to shrink and discolor -- and a more conservative, Damon Jones-esque look of tiger and/or leopard prints?

Answer: if you're NBA Hall of Famer Walt Frazier, you rummage through your closet.

According to a wonderfully entertaining New York Times article, the former Knicks point guard and current team television broadcaster is more than a clothes horse -- he's a clothes horse as imagined by Salvador Dali. Think checked, salmon-colored sport coats. Boots made from stingray skin. A coat made from the fur of 17,000 Arctic wolves' noses. (Just kidding: the latter was actually a rug in Wilt Chamberlain's old Los Angeles home). In short, anything and everything Frazier calls "jazzy."

While Frazier's penchant for -- ahem -- idiosyncratic sartorial splendor is familiar to New Yorkers and regular Knicks-watchers alike, the Times piece is rife with other interesting details:

• Frazier's closet is actually a small bedroom in his Manhattan apartment; he spends "hours" thinking about what to wear for game broadcasts; he has so many suits he didn't have to do dry cleaning in the 2010-11 NBA season.

• He also has boots made of ostrich and eel skin.

• Frazier's fashion advice: "If your suit is popping, your tie can't." Translation? Match a leopard-print suit with a black shirt and tie.

• He originally found the fabric for the cow suit while looking for sofa material.

• Frazier doesn't buy his suits off the rack at somewhere like Nordstrom -- surprise! -- but rather has a custom tailor; when the tailor first saw the cow fabric, his response to Frazier was, "are you really going to wear this?"

• Frazier lacked the nerve to wear cow pants with his cow jacket during a a January Knicks game; instead, he work black slacks.

• Frazier says he dresses to "entertain himself." Himself? Page 2 thinks he's being modest.

Of course, all of the above can only mean one thing: your move, Craig Sager.