Basketball lost a legend today as New York Knicks icon, Willis Reed, passed away at the age of 80.
A superstar at Grambling State where he led the Tigers to an NAIA Title, Reed was drafted by the New York Knicks with the First Pick of the Second Round of the 1964 Draft. Reed played at Center and Power Forward, but was incredibly physical at 6’ 9”, allowing him to match up well with the taller opponents of his day.
Reed won the 1964/65 NBA Rookie of the Year Award, and he began a seven-year run as an All-Star, a timeframe that included five All-NBA Selections (one First Team and four Second Team). As the Knicks built around Reed, he led them to their first NBA Championship in 1970, followed by a second one in 1972.
Knee issues forced Reed to retire in 1974. He would later become a Coach and Executive.
Reed was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1982 and the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006. He was also named to the NBA’s 50th and 75th Anniversary Teams, and his #19 was retired by the Knicks.
We here at Notinhalloffame.com would like to extend our condolences to the fans, friends and family of Willis Reed.