Even if basketball is played all over the world, it sometimes still can feel a small world. Two years ago I had the opportunity to interview Bonzie Colson who had had a short NBA stint and was playing with SIG Strasburg at the time. 2 years later in 2023 I had the opportunity to interview another ex NBA player with Tim Frazier (185-PG-1990, college: Penn St.) now playing also with SIG Strasburg. The biggest difference between both outstanding players is that Frazier’s run in the NBA was a lot longer at 8 years. There is a special link between Frazier and Colson and I. During the NBA playoffs in 2019 when the Boston Celtics were battling the Milwaukee Bucks, both Colson and Frazier were on the Bucks roster. During the playoff series, I was in Boston visiting family and I saw both players before a game and got their autographs. I mean what are the chances that 2 players from one NBA team season would play on the same French team within a few years with me getting both of their autographs. I mean it isn’t a cake walk anymore getting NBA players autographs. Tim Frazier never lost the love to make fans young or old happy. Before a game 1 Basketball Champions League game in Bonn, there was a die hard autograph collector that would have made some American autograph seekers jealous as he had reserved a whole table and gotten every player’s autograph of SIG Strasburg before the game. Frazier must of signed 6-7 printed out photos of himself ‘You can look at it 2 ways. I always try to sign. For me it is a blessing that someone would want my autograph. I don’t take anything for granted. I know that one day nobody is going to want my autograph anymore. I have friends who are top 5 players in the NBA. They know that the more they sign the more the value goes down. So it makes sense that they sometimes don’t sign. Signing for kids is a no brainer. For me it is special when people ask me for an autograph. I always sign for people’, stressed Tim Frazier. He doesn’t remember signing for me and how could he when NBA players are bombarded around the clock each day from the shoot around before the game, departure to the game and arrival at the next hotel at 2.am. The autograph hounds are always present. But the ex NBA player had a laugh when he heard he had signed for me once in Boston. ‘It really is a small world. One day your signing for someone and the next day your running into that person again or being interviewed’, said Tim Frazier. Even if Tim Frazier had special encounters with Kobe, Giannis and Dirk and isn’t in the NBA at the moment, he still feels so blessed to be able to play the game he loves overseas.
Tim Frazier autograph from 2019 in Boston
Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Tim Frazier meet again in Bonn Germany in 2023
Tim Frazier was born on November 1st, 1990 in Houston, Texas. He began to play basketball at age 5 at Strake Jesuit College Preparatory in Houston. As a senior he averaged 15.5 points, 7.7 rebounds, 5.5 assists, and 3.6 steals per game and led the team to a 37-1 record. He helped them become the first private school to reach the state tournament’s semifinals. He was a 3 star recruit for Rivals.com and committed to Penn State (NCAA). He graduated high school Cum Laude. He would play there from 2009-2014 playing a total of 135 NCAA games. ‘Coming to Penn State was a big change for me. It was first time that I saw snow. It was a big culture shock for me. The experience was awesome though’, stressed Tim Frazier.In his freshman season he played 31 games averaging 5.0ppg, 2.3rpg, 2.4apg. In his sophomore season he played 34 games averaging 6.3ppg, 3.9rpg, 5.1apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 43.0%, 3PT: 34.4%, FT: 75.3%. His biggest game that season was scoring 22 points in the upset win over Michigan State at the Big 10 tournament semi-finals. A downer that season was losing to Temple (NCAA) in the big dance as Jaun Fernandez won the game on a close out past him. ‘That was a tough loss. I was in tears mainly because that was the senior’s last game. I knew I had 2 more years and a few more chances’, remembered Tim Frazier. In his next season after the departure of guards Chris Babb and Talor Battle who both would play for the Telekom Baskets Bonn in Germany, he made a massive jump in his game averaging 18.8ppg, 4.7rpg, 6.2apg, 2.4spg, FGP: 44.0%, 3PT: 31.4%, FT: 79.1%. He scored in double figures in 30 of 32 games and had big games against Nebraska scoring 30 points and hit South Florida for 27 points. In his fourth season he played only 4 games and was out for the rest of the season with an injury. He was able to red shirt the season and averaged 16.3ppg, 4.5rpg, 3.8apg, 2.3spg. He returned for a fifth season and formed a strong duo with DJ Newbill and averaged 14.9ppg, 4.4rpg, 5.4apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 43.0%, 3PT: 29.1%, FT: 78.5%. He scored in double figures in 28 of 32 games including scoring 29 points a piece in wins against St Johns and Pennsylvania. His game grew a lot in his 5 years thanks to head coaches Ed Dechellis and Patrick Chambers. ‘I had pivotal experiences with both of them. Ed was a strict out of the book coach. He gave me confidence and a chance to play. Pat had coached future NBA players. His selling point was that he had coached Kyle Lowery. He took me to Villanova practices to watch their guards. He taught me what I needed to do to get to the NBA. He showed me how to be a good pro guard’, stressed Tim Frazier. He was named to the Bob Cousy Award watch list, was Third Team All-Big Ten, and named to the Barclays Center Classic all-tourney team. He was also a Senior CLASS Award finalist, and was handed the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award
The quick guard who remembers losing to Chris Babb in 1-1 battles at Penn State, but getting him back a few years later in Maine began his professional career in the summer of 2014 playing NBA Summer League with the Philadelphia 76ers averaging 3.4ppg, 4.0rpg, 2.0apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 28%, FT: 50%. Their paths would cross soon after again. He had a wild rookie season beginning with the Boston Celtics and then being released and played with the Maine Red Claws (D-League). He had a fine rookie campaign in Maine averaging 16.1ppg, 7.1rpg, Assists-1 (9.5apg), 1.7spg, FGP: 49.1%, 3PT: 36.4%, FT: 81.1%. He scored in double figures in 36 of 41 games and had massive games against Delaware with 34 points, and scored 30 points against Eire Bay. He also recorded 4 triple doubles. ‘I’m really thankful for Chris Babb who was so helpful and helping make the transition from college to the pro’s’, remembered Tim Frazier. His dream like everyone else outside the NBA was the NBA and he did anything he could to be close to it. ‘This is a crazy story. It was like a 3 hour drive from Maine to Boston. I came down a lot to watch games if I had a day off. Often I would buy a ticket and sometimes get tickets from Players. I would talk to the players after the game. Then one day I got a call from the 76ers. Michael carter Williams was hurt and they were playing in Boston. They had no point guard and called me the day of the game. I had no shoes and I went to Boston. I asked Avery Bradley and he gave me a pair of his. This was a surreal moment for me. Playing my first NBA game against the team that cut me. That led to a 8 year NBA career. You couldn’t have asked for a better story’, remembered Tim Frazier. He had brief stints with Philadelphia playing 6 games and 6 games with Portland. He finished the season with a double double 13/10 against Dallas and will never forget playing against Dirk Nowitzki. ‘Dirk was Dirk. He was so phenomenal in his prime. But even near the end he was still so good. He put me in the switch and made his fade away over me. There was nothing I could do. I’m from Houston and only heard good things about him and how much he did for the community’, stated Tim Frazier. Every player has their NBA wake up moment and it wasn’t any different for him. ‘Playing 1-1 after practice against Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum and Steve Blake was tough. I saw really how great they were. Even Blake who was at the end of his career could still move well. I scored maybe once. All 3 dominated me. They showed me I had to work very hard to be in the NBA. I asked Dam if I could work out with him. Now we are still doing it during the summers’, added Tim Frazier.
The Texas native who has Damian Lillard, Anthony Davis, Giannis, CJ McCollum and Markief Morris as his 5 best teammates of all-time played the 2015-2016 season with the Portland Trail Blaziers playing 32 games averaging 1.6ppg, 1.2rpg, 1.3apg, played 8 games with the Maine Red Claws (D-League) averaging 15.0ppg, 9.1rpg, 9.6apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 61.0%, 3PT: 40.0%, FT: 75.0%, and finished the season with the New Orleans Pelicans (NBA) playing 15 games averaging 13.1ppg, 4.5rpg, 7.4apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 43.8%, 3PT: 44.8%, FT: 75.4%. It was obvious his time with the Pelicans was his best time in the NBA. ‘I think my time with the Pelicans then helped solidify my career. Pelicans had guys banged up and they signed me. My play helped me get a contract for next season. I came from Portland where I didn’t play because guys like Lillard and McCollum were playing. Then I go to the Pelicans and play really well. I still watch highlights and think who is that guy?. I was waving people off. I was playing with so much confidence’, remembered Tim Frazier. He had some fine games against Chicago netting 20 points and collecting 11 dimes, hit Brooklyn for 19 points and 13 assists and had 15 assists against Minnesota. That season he played against the Lakers and Kobe Bryant 4 times wining all games. In the first 3 games he totaled only 10 minutes, but near the end of the season in one of Kobe’s last games as a professional he played 26 minutes having 7 points and 12 assists. He will never forget that last encounter with the black mamba. ‘We played before a packed house in New Orleans and my Mom was there. I’m sure he knew who I was. He took a picture with my mom. But it wasn’t one of those pics that you just take and move on, but he really took time and talked with her something he wouldn’t have had to do. He signed for every last person and signed everyone’s shoe who had one there. He took so much time and that goes a long way showing what kind of person he was. The way he presented himself there meant more to me then his 81 point game or his titles. He was so humble and put a smile on my face. I didn’t get a pic with him, but I thank him for how much he meant to the game and my family’, remembered Tim Frazier. In the 2016-2017 season he remained with the Pelicans and had a solid season playing 65 games averaging 7.1ppg, 2.6rpg, 5.2apg, FGP: 44.6%, 3PT: 31.3%, FT: 76.0%. He scored in double figures in 21 games and had 20 points or more 4 times including scoring 21 points against Golden State and Atlanta and 20 points against the Bucks and Clippers. He also registered 10 assists or more 8 times including 14 against the Hawks. He saw the early development of Anthony Davis as he was becoming a superstar in that time. ‘I remember Jrue Holiday got injured at a time where we had a tough schedule. Anthony kept us in each game. He made me look better than I ever was. I knew all I had to do was get in the lane and he would make me look good. 5 of my assists were from him. He is a guard in a big man’s body. He is a close friend of mine. I was his best man at his wedding’, stressed Tim Frazier.
The ex Penn State great who remembers ex Michigan (NCAA) great Trey Burke being his toughest cover in the NCAA played the 2017-2018 season with the Washington Wizards (NBA) playing 60 games averaging 2.9ppg, 1.9rpg, 3.3apg. He wasn’t able to get the minutes he did the 2 seasons before in New Orleans as with the Wizards averaged only 14 minutes and scored in double figures only twice and had 14 dimes against the Hawks. He was teammates with Polish beast Marcin Gortat a guy that began to make a name for himself early in his career in 2006 in Germany and then reached the NBA having a solid 12 year NBA career. ‘Marcin was great. He was one of the best screen setters that I ever played with. That is what he prided himself doing. One can credit all those John Wall dunks to him setting great screens. He was a laid back and funny guy that put in the work. I remember he always doing the hammer when he dunked. I was really fortunate to have been able to come across great teammates’, said Tim Frazier. In the 2018-2019 season his wandering from team to team in the NBA continued as he returned back to the Pelicans again averaging 5.0ppg, 2.9rpg, 4.4apg, and then moved to the moved to Milwaukee Bucks (NBA) playing 21 games averaging 4.6ppg, 1.9rpg, 2.5apg. He had some great games again that season scoring in double figures in 8 games and had 10 assists or more 5 times. He scored 29 points and 13 assists against Oklahoma and 20 points and 15 assists against Atlanta a team he always played well against. He was fortunate to be teammates with Greek Freak Giannis a player that is for many the best player in the NBA at the moment. ‘I can’t say a bad word about him. For me he is top 5 in best work ethic that I have ever seen. He has put in so much time in the weight room and it shows. He deserves all the success he has had. He wants all to succeed. He is such a dominant player and is just a great teammate, and parent. I saw in Greece how much of a house hold name he is. Everybody asked me about him. It is great to see how far he has come. He is still growing. He always wants to get better’, warned Tim Frazier. In the 2019-2020 season he played with the Detroit Pistons (NBA) playing 27 games averaging 3.6ppg, 1.2rpg, 3.4apg. Covid hit in the latter part of the season and his minutes were really sporadic. ‘That was a tough season. I just had to stay ready. I may not play for 2 weeks and then start a game. An experience like this makes you a pro. I may play 30 minutes or 30 seconds. At the end of the day you put the team first. You have to always be ready. I always put in the work so I would be ready when my number was called’, remembered Tim Frazier. He scored 17 points against ex team Washington and 13 points against Chicago.
Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Marcin Gortat in Rhondorf Germany in 2006
The guard who lists Steph Curry and Damian Lillard (I knew his moves and had to stop him or I would hear it all summer long) as his toughest opponents on the court in the NBA played only 5 games for Memphis in the 20-21 season as COVID was in full swing. ‘That was a very tough season. I remember all the protocols. You had to have a seat empty between seats on the plane and got tested like 3 times a day. We couldn’t do anything. I stayed inside. You would stay in the hotel and still maybe catch it. I remember when I was first signed I had to quarantine 7 days. Everything was unknown. Nobody knew anything. We couldn’t do normal things together like eat a meal. It was a wild time’, stated Tim Frazier. In the 21-22 season he played only 12 games with Cavs and Orlando. Did he lose faith in the NBA process with Covid and playing very little games. ‘I don’t know if I lost faith. As you get older the window gets smaller. Now with younger guys getting drafted and the 2 way contracts, teams have the ability to develop young players better and the price tag is smaller. I never lose faith. If someone had told me coming out of college that I would play 8 years in the NBA, I would of hoped so. I never close the door on the NBA. Anything can happen. I have been fortunate to have built so many relationships with coaches. You never know what could happen. I could get a call this summer and get signed again by a NBA team. I want to have the best career I can now overseas’, added Tim Frazier. He got 2 ten day contracts with Orlando and one from the Cavs. ‘It was all about luck and opportunity. It was a tough season, but I just kept striving for my dream. So many guys would have died to be in my position’, explained Tim Frazier. Last season he had the opportunity to play with Germany’s biggest talent at the moment Franz Wagner who was a first round draft pick of Orlando in 2021. ‘Franz was great and has all the potential in the world. I remember when he scored 30 or 40 points I was like who is this guy. He has that Euro game and could become something special. He still had a good second season even if some of his scoring went down in the second half of the season. They have many scoring options. Every night it could be someone else like a Carter, Fultz or Wagner who is top scorer. He is a great teammate that roots for everyone. At the end of the day that will take him a long way. He already has a great skill level. He was a great teammate’, remembered Tim Frazier.
The ex Pelican who lists Allen Iverson as his favorite player of all-time and thinks the classic movie Coming To America should have been left alone began this season in Greece with AEK Athens (Greece-GBL) playing 13 games averaging 11.3ppg, 2.8rpg, 5.0apg, 2FGP: 46.3%, 3FGP: 34.4%, FT: 73.1%: and in the BCL: played 10 games averaging 6.3ppg, 2.5rpg, 5.2apg, 1.0spg, 2FGP: 28.0%, 3FGP: 34.3%, FT: 81.3%. It is never easy making the transition from many years NBA to overseas, but from his play, one wouldn’t have thought that he had any problems. Obviously the time difference and food was different, but one he got used to quickly. The biggest difference were the facilities. For European standards top, but then again still a league or 2 below what you witness in the NBA where everything is the best. He showed on the court that he belonged scoring 22 points against PAOK and Ionikos and 15 points against top Euroleague team Olympiakos. ‘Greece was a good test for me. Greece is a 2 team league. I showed against Olympiakos that I could compete. It was like playing against the Warriors.’, said Tim Frazier. Now he has begun a new chapter in his career with SIG Strasburg. The team has struggled in the France Pro A and is fighting to reach the playoffs. ‘It has been a culture shock. The intensity is so high overseas. Every game matters. In the NBA you play so many games not every game matters. I have grown fond of guys playing overseas because it isn’t easy. You see guys from the NBA not be successful here. It is a real grind’, stressed Tim Frazier. Two teammates he has really grown fond of have been two guys with massive chips on their shoulders. Explosive diminutive guard Marcus Keene who has had to grind his whole career and now slowly is being rewarded and Deandre Lansdowne who played division 2 in college and began in the third league in Germany 7 years ago. ‘Both guys are so mentally tough. Deandre beginning in the third league and now being captain speaks a lot for his work ethic. He tries to be the best player he can be. He will come to me during a game and tell me that we will get a play for me. He wants to help guys get going. That speaks a lot for him. When Marcus is hot, he is unstoppable. I saw it in college. He hit shots then. Now he is a wow factor about how he can take over games. He is a real competitor’, stated Tim Frazier. It will be interesting to see how well SIG Strasburg closes out the season. He is definitely a player who has seen it all in the NBA and is a real professional. Covid killed so many people which was the worst part. Everything else is just a side note concerning how Covid hurt people in other ways. Did he sometimes wonder where his career in the NBA may have gone without Covid? ‘Yes I do wonder. I think many guys would still have had jobs without it. It was a tough time then and still is today. I’m a firm believer in God and everything happens for a reason. The best place for me now is France. I’m happy my family is safe. I loved being in the NBA, but now the best place for me is France. I want to be the best person that I can be’, warned Tim Frazier. He is a guy that is thankful for everything in his life. That is exactly how it should be.