New York Knicks broadcasters Walt "Clyde" Frazier, left, and Mike...

New York Knicks broadcasters Walt "Clyde" Frazier, left, and Mike Breen before the start of a game at Madison Square Garden on Feb. 1, 2024. Credit: Jim McIsaac

Mike Breen’s mother still lives in the home in which he grew up in Yonkers, and she has not changed at least one element of the decor.

“When I was 10, I put up a poster of Clyde,” Breen said. “The poster is still there.”

Two things drove home how meaningful that is to him. One was that Breen is 62 years old, a half-century removed from first paying tribute to his favorite Knick.

The other was that as he spoke to two reporters at MSG Networks’ studios last week, Walt “Clyde” Frazier, 78, was sitting right beside him.

The occasion was that Monday is the 25th anniversary of their first game together for MSG as play-by-play man and analyst, a 93-85 loss to the Magic in Orlando.

But their professional partnership dates to the 1992-93 season, when they were the Knicks’ top radio team. It has been, Frazier said, a “fantastic” run.

A key to making it work early on was Breen getting past thinking of Frazier as a childhood hero of his and treating him simply as a person and broadcaster.

“[It happened] a lot quicker than I thought,” Breen said. “The reason is simple: Because right away, he accepted me and was so kind.

“I was petrified. He didn’t know it at the time, but I was so nervous . . . Here’s this Hall of Famer. I’m a young broadcaster. For him to bring me in, respect and treat me with such kindness gave me all the confidence in the world.”

What Breen did not realize at the time was that Frazier was nervous, too. Just as Breen credits Frazier for his acceptance and support, that went two ways.

“Our whole thing has been respect,” Frazier said. “Mike gave me an opportunity to articulate more than the normal color guy.

“The first time we got together, he said, ‘Clyde, people want to hear what you have to say, man, just say it. Don’t worry about the nuances. Just do your thing.’ That gave me a lot of confidence.”

Breen recalled that in the early years, Frazier’s style was not universally well received but that he persevered. Now both Breen and Frazier have been recognized by the Basketball Hall of Fame, giving Frazier two separate entry keys to the Hall.

“He’s made such a niche in his style, and he’s never wavered off the style,” Breen said. “When he first started doing the rhymes, he took some criticism. It wasn’t greeted with open arms. But he stayed with it.”

Breen said he still learns something from Frazier every game.

“It’s amazing how this great Hall of Fame player has become this great Hall of Fame broadcaster,” Breen said. “I think it’s one of the most remarkable things.”

Frazier said he never has put a time limit on his broadcasting career and plans to keep going as long as he can, although he has cut back on travel.

“I’m still enjoying it, and when I can’t talk anymore, I like to just meet and greet the fans around the Garden,” he said. “Hopefully we see another championship in that time.”

About that, Frazier said he is “living vicariously” through the current Knicks and sees similarities between this team and his two NBA championship teams.

“The defense!” he said. “[Tom Thibodeau] is like Red [Holzman], holding these guys accountable. The camaraderie. The players like each other. They mingle together. So I’m really respecting that.”

After their first three seasons together on TV, Breen was back on radio when Marv Albert returned to MSG. Breen and Frazier have been together continuously since 2004.

Breen said he does not have clear memories of that first game in Orlando, which featured a Knicks team that would reach the NBA Finals.

“I just remember being so nervous,” Breen said. “They showed us a clip of it. I [look like] I’m 11, and [he] looks the same now as he did back then.”

Frazier credited the late Marty Glickman, a mentor to many New York-area sports announcers, for being an early teacher, and the Garden in general for its support.

“The organization, they never reprimanded me about what I said,” he said. “They go, ‘Clyde, be yourself.’ If the team is dreadful, woeful, hapless, they said, ‘Just don’t pound it in. You can say whatever you think.’

“So the fans know that Clyde, he’s going to tell you the truth, man. He’s not a homer.”

Breen noted the value of MSG’s stability beyond him and Frazier, including the longtime producing and directing pair of Spencer Julien and Howie Singer.

Breen has called a record 18 NBA Finals on national TV. But doing Knicks games for MSG — especially with Frazier — never will get old for him.

“It’s family,” he said. “The Garden’s home.”

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