Remembering Knicks legend Willis Reed after his unexpected passing at age 80

Many New York Knicks fans had their worlds rocked on Tuesday after learning of Hall of Famer Willis Reed passing away at the age of 80. Reed is one of greatest Knicks of all time and made a massive impact both on and off the court.

While many modern fans were unable to witness Reed in his prime, those who were around at the time held him in incredibly high regard and it’s clear why. Reed was one of the most dominant players of his era and was a somewhat revolutionary player for his position.

Reed was selected by the Knicks with the first pick in the second round of the 1964 NBA Draft and it didn’t take him long at all to find success with the team. In just his first NBA season, Reed averaged 19.5 points and 14.7 rebounds per game, being one of 45 players in league history to make the All-Star Game in their rookie season.

The success wouldn’t stop there as Reed would go on to make seven consecutive All-Star Games. Additionally, once the Knicks drafted Walt Frazier and brought in key players like Dave DeBusschere, Reed would play a pivotal role in bringing the Knicks their only two championships, winning Finals MVP in both of them.

Knicks legend Willis Reed passes away at 80 years old

As if that success wasn’t incredible enough, Reed is also responsible for one of the most iconic moments in NBA history. This occurred after Reed suffered a leg injury in the midst of the Knicks’ 1970 Finals run that many thought sealed New York’s fate. However, Reed did what no one thought was possible and jogged onto the court to play, scoring the first two baskets of the game.

Here’s a list of everything Reed managed to accomplish in his illustrious career:

  • 7x All-Star 
  • 5x All-NBA
  • 1964-65 NBA Rookie of the Year
  • 1x All-Defensive selection 
  • 2x NBA Champion and Finals MVP
  • 1969-70 NBA MVP
  • One of three players to win All-Star Game MVP, NBA MVP, and Finals MVP in a season
  • NBA 50th and 75th Anniversary Team member 
  • NBA Hall of Fame inductee

In a league, at the time, dominated by bigs like Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell, Reed stood tall and brought New York success that still hasn’t been replicated to this day. There is truly no player like Reed, and it breaks our hearts to hear the news of his passing.