Former Knicks star Willis Reed died on Tuesday at age 80, according to reports from veteran NBA writer Peter Vecsey (Twitter link) and Don Burke of The New York Post. Reed was battling congestive heart problems during the past year, per Vescey.
A member of the Knicks from 1964-74, Reed earned seven All-Star nods over the course of his career and was named the Rookie of the Year in 1965 and the NBA MVP in 1970. He won titles with the Knicks in 1970 and 1973, earning Finals MVP honors in both instances.
Reed appeared in a total of 650 regular season NBA games, averaging 18.7 points and 12.9 rebounds in 35.5 minutes per night. He also played in 78 postseason contests, posting 17.4 PPG and 10.3 RPG in 33.9 MPG. The big man was named to both the NBA’s 50th and 75th anniversary teams.
Reed, who was the first Knick to have his jersey number retired and was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame, is perhaps best known for Game 7 of the 1970 Finals.
After missing Game 6 due to a significant thigh injury, Reed unexpectedly hobbled out of the tunnel onto the court at Madison Square Garden in uniform before the start of Game 7. He scored the Knicks’ first two baskets and logged 27 minutes in the championship-clinching game.
Following the end of his playing career, Reed served as a coach and a front office executive for multiple NBA franchises, including the Knicks (as a head coach in 1977/78). He retired from his role as the New Orleans Hornets’ vice president of basketball operations in 2007.
Our condolences go out to Reed’s family and friends.
18 thoughts on “Former Knicks Star Willis Reed Passes Away”
Rest In Peace
The Captain. RIP.
One. Tough. Dude.
My dad’s hero. The captain…he never says anything, and just texted me some stuff, which is somewhat unlike him now, which shows what he meant, which actually makes sense to me for where he would have been at that time. From all the stuff I watched over the years of those teams, I would have probably felt the same way. Rip
Rest in peace
So sad. RIP.
RIP coming back to give the Knicks and fans hope to get the second title. Legend
RIP Willis ….. our captain.
link to nba.com
Willis and Mess are the only real captains in sports
RIP. There was a time when NBA was better than pro wrestling.
That is what is it today. Predetermined
Pretty disrespectful to leverage tragedy to promote your own nonsense agenda. If anything the league was more corrupt back then as there was no oversight and tons of backroom deals. Read a book. Eat an apple.
A great great leader. He didn’t just sulk when he got injured. Reed led by example
Nobody who saw it will ever forget him hobbling out of the dressing room before game 7 and the roar that went up. It gives me goose bumps just thinking about it. RIP