NEW YORK — Every now and then you have to hit the bricks to hit home . . . to hear stories unlikely shared except in person and witness uncensored scenes.

Remember when Walt Frazier was in his “Clyde” heyday and the tales about his bachelor lifestyle abounded and astounded?

One of them professed the Knicks’ action hero bought two parking spaces in the garage below his east side high rise to avoid the possibility of some commoner getting close enough to scratch his Rolls Royce.

That was my first thought upon entering Denver’s Pepsi Center that spatially and aesthetically dwarfs the Knicks’ primitive Garden variety.

Nuggets coach George Karl, as you would wholly expect, is in an exceptionally reflective mood these days.

Free of cancer following a horrible springtime of rigid neck and throat treatments, but admittedly nervous as hell about an impending PET scan, the Nuggets’ 59-year-old coach, when not citing medical and nutritional statistics, spent much of our time together reliving the past.

“My father lived to 95, his sister lived to 98 and their mother lived to 100,” documented Karl, his eyes and smile greatly arching. “I sure hope me and Coby have their genes.”

As if Karl didn’t have enough to worry about, he’s ceaselessly haunted by the terrifying thought his son’s battle with thyroid cancer several years ago might someday recur.

But, for the moment, Karl chooses to dwell on Joseph Edward and their family’s plain Pittsburgh circumstances. His father worked his adult life for Bell & Howell, fixing Ditto machines and never earned more than $6,000 a year.

It took a lot of work, scrimping and doing without by one and all when Karl’s older sister went to Penn State and graduated in 3 1/2 years. That financial burden prohibited George from pursuing his first athletic love.

“I was a better baseball player, but there weren’t that many baseball scholarships available in those days, so my father insisted I focus exclusively on basketball,” Karl said. “That was important to him and he held me to it. And I’m glad he did.”

One of Karl’s happiest memories occurred the day Dean Smith informed him he would be getting a full ride at the University of North Carolina. His father was delighted, but wasn’t carried away by the euphoria.

“He asked Dean how much I would need for room and board,” Karl said. “Told I wouldn’t need any money, my father again asked, ‘Are you sure he won’t need money for food?’ He just couldn’t grasp the concept of a full scholarship.”

Karl’ father retired soon after, entitling George to $140 a month in social security benefits. Between that and scalping his tickets to home games, he was living large.

“I went from being poor to pretty wealthy,” Karl said. “When I signed my first contract with the Spurs for $45,000 I thought I was a rich dude. Now I make so much. But back then I had it all without any responsibilities or headaches. I owned my car. I rented a condo. I ate out three times a day and paid cash. Everything I needed, I had.”

Joseph Edward retired in 1969, just before his son’s freshman year. He, too, didn’t want for anything. A modest pension, social security check and income from energy investments allowed him to live comfortably for the 30-plus years. Still, George had no idea how well his father had done until the reading of the will.

“His estate was valued at $1 million,” Karl proudly beamed.

Mary Anthony cleaned houses in Brooklyn and Baltimore while Carmelo was growing up. There wasn’t a whole lot of leftover money to squander on say, tattoos. His body is, ahem, well decorated, and you haven’t even seen it all.

He was 14 when he got his first — the name Melo with a ball emitting fire — on his upper left arm.

How did he afford it?

“A guy in my hood, who knew what he was doing, did it for a Ralph Lauren shirt somebody had given me. Nautica and Polo were worth more than money.”

And what did his mother say when she saw it?

“She didn’t find out until I was a junior in high school. She never saw me play because she was working double shifts. She only found out because we (Towson) played for the Baltimore Catholic League title and a photographer took a picture of me going to the hoop. It appeared in the paper the next day.”

According to Melo, his older brother, Dorell was good enough at Boys High to get a scholarship offer from North Carolina State’s Jim Valvano, but turned it down because he couldn’t “shake free of New York.”

His 196-cm father was born in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, and also had game . . . though that didn’t surface until Carmelo Iriate got sent upstate to prison. While it’s unclear what he did to warrant the time, Melo said his father was connected to the Young Lords and Black Panthers.

“That’s when he began playing basketball and writing poetry seriously. He would send the poetry to my sister, Michelle,” Melo said. His twin talents earned him the nickname Mr. Wonderful, compliments of the population.

“I’m not sure how old my father was when he died from (liver) cancer, in his late 30s or early 40s,” said Melo. “My brothers chilled with him, but I was only two when he passed (1986). Yeah, I want to know more about him but all I got so far are bits and pieces” . . . and Iriate’s picture on his cell phone.

I readily confess to knowing very little about Melo off the court other than what I’ve read and heard . . . and it’s frequently unflattering. Thus, I was surprised, to put it placidly, to discover how bright he is during our first lengthy conversation, and told him so.

“Have you given any thought to what you would like to do once you’re finished playing basketball,” I asked toward the end of the 30-minute interview. “Do you have any special interest?”

“Film making,” Melo re-flexed. “My wife (TV personality Lala Vazquez) and I founded a company called Krossover Productions, that’s with a K, and last year produced a documentary on Mike Tyson.”

By all Goggled accounts, the James Toback-directed, two-year venture was critically acclaimed.

By his own admission, Melo has a fierce affinity for Brooklyn homie, Iron Mike.

“When first approached about the project it sounded like the same old, same old. You know, the same footage, the same quotes, stuff we’ve all seen and heard many times over the years. But once I researched everything and sat down with Mike, and saw he wasn’t afraid to explain how he felt and why situations happened, I knew it was something I wanted to do.”

“My son’s studying film,” I shamelessly mentioned, knowing I can’t retire until Joseph lands his first real job.

“What school?”

“He’s a senior at Brooklyn College.” “Brooklyn College has a great film school,” Melo accentuated.

“You’re putting me on! How would you know something like that?!?”

“Because I do my homework! No matter what I plan to do, whatever it may be, I investigate first. I study history before I make a decision. And I found out Brooklyn College has a great film school.”

Peter Vecsey covers the NBAfor the New York Post.

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