The Passing of the Iconic Willis Reed
By Brodric Houston, Staff Writer
The New York Knicks legend, Willis Reed, passed away on March 21, 2023. He spent his 10-year career with the Knicks and led them to their only championships in 1970 and 1973. His years with the Knicks were legendary and his legacy will live on forever.
Reed would play ten seasons in the NBA, accumulating a multitude of awards. He was the Rookie of the Year in 1965 and the MVP of the entire league in 1970. He was a seven-time All-Star and was named one of the 75 top NBA players of all time.
During his career, he averaged 19 points per game along with 13 rebounds. He is one of the best guards to have rebounding instincts. To this day, many guards don’t crash the boards as well as Reed could.
He became a worldwide name during the 1970 NBA finals when his team faced off against Wilt Chamberlain’s Los Angeles Lakers in the final game of the series. He suffered a thigh injury in game six and was not expected to play in the final game. Shocking the arena, and the world, Reed came out of the tunnel, jogged onto the tunnel, and began to warm up for the game.
He would go on to play in that game, only scoring two points but in the end, the Knicks beat the Lakers by a final score of 113-99. This was known as the “Willis Reed Game.” Reed was named finals Most Valuable Player and went on to achieve the same award in 1973.
Reed’s number 19 was the first jersey retired by the Knicks and after his playing career, Reed would go on to coach the Knicks for a year before leaving for another coaching job.
In addition to his resume, he was elected to the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame in 1982.
The Knicks organization made a statement:
“As we mourn, we will always strive to uphold the standards he left behind—the unmatched leadership, sacrifice, and work ethic that personified him as a champion among champions.”
NBA fans, organizations, and players mourn the loss of one of the best rebounding guards to ever do it. He set the tone for abilities and showed that even the smallest position on the floor can have their presents felt all around the court.
Copy Edited By Clifton Dutton, Sports Editor