Legendary Knicks center and Basketball Hall-of-Famer Willis Reed passed away Tuesday morning at the age of 80, according to veteran NBA writer Peter Vecsey.
According to Vecsey, Reed had been suffering from congestive heart failure and had been going through rehab at the time of his death.
Just received word that Willis Reed, 80, passed this morning. He has suffered from congestive heart problems over the past year or so, and was going through rehab to walk. Loved everything about Willis! A man’s man!!
— Peter Vecsey (@PeterVecsey1) March 21, 2023
Reed played for the Knicks from 1964-74, winning Finals MVP in 1970 and ’73. His decision to play in Game 7 vs. the Lakers, hobbling to the court with a hamstring injury for warmups, will live on forever in NBA lore. That game took place on May 8, 1970, and Reed’s inspirational performance helped lift the Knicks to their first title. Reed was also named NBA MVP that season.
But his career was cut short by injuries, retiring in 1974, one season after the Knicks won their second championship. A seven-time All-Star, Reed averaged 18.7 points and 12.9 rebounds in 650 career games.
After his playing career, he coached the Knicks (1977-78), Creighton (1981-85) and the Nets (1988-89), while also serving as an assistant with the Hawks and Kings.
Reed, who played college all at Grambling, was named to the NBA’s 50th and 75th Anniversary teams.
The basketball community has lost a Legend. Our hearts are with the family, friends and fans of Willis Reed.#LegendsForever pic.twitter.com/AindMB0OGb
— NBA Alumni 🏀 (@NBAalumni) March 21, 2023
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