Willis Reed, legendary captain of the only two title teams in franchise history, has reportedly passed away at the age of 80.
Reed missed the 50th anniversary celebration of the Knicks’ 1973 title team earlier this month, though he did film a video tribute that was played during the ceremony.
Reed is a titan in franchise history. He remains the only Knick to win league MVP, both in the regular season (1969-70) and the Finals (1970, 1973). But it is the 1970 Finals which makes Reed a New York sports icon. After suffering a leg injury in Game 5, most assumed that the big man wouldn’t be available for Game 7. But Willis walked through a rapturous MSG crowd onto the court for warmups. He hit two jumpers to start the game, and inspired the Knicks to victory. It remains, by far, the biggest moment in franchise history.
We’ll have more on the Captain, his career, and his legacy. Rest in peace.