Forever a Champion: The Passing of Willis Reed, an NBA Icon
by FARUK IMAMOVIC | VIEW 326
The New York Knicks and the NBA community mourn the loss of Willis Reed, the legendary basketball player who passed away at the age of 81 due to heart problems. Reed was a true icon of the Knicks franchise, where he played for ten seasons from 1964 to 1974, and a symbol of the winning spirit that defined the team's championship runs in the early 1970s.
Willis Reed, who won two NBA championships during his legendary career with the Knicks, has died, according to the National Basketball Retired Players Association. He was 80.
More: https://t.co/uVrFEAk1XM pic.twitter.com/LNlp7Qnbvt — ESPN (@espn) March 21, 2023
A Champion Among Champions
Throughout his career, Reed achieved numerous individual awards and accolades, including two championship titles in 1970 and 1973, two MVP awards in the NBA Finals, and the league's Most Valuable Player award in 1970.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver reflected on Reed's impact on the sport, stating, "Willis Reed was the ultimate team player and consummate leader... He played the game with remarkable passion and determination, and his inspiring comeback in Game 7 of the 1970 NBA Finals remains one of the most iconic moments in all of sports.
We send our deepest condolences to Willis' wife, Gale, his family and his many friends and fans."
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver issued the following statement today regarding the passing of Willis Reed: pic.twitter.com/v7os6f5v86 — NBA (@NBA) March 21, 2023
Reed's impact on the sport of basketball was far-reaching.
A seven-time All-Star, he averaged 18.7 points and 12.9 rebounds per game in 650 career games, all with the Knicks. He was the first player in Knicks history to have his number retired, and he was officially recognized as one of the 50 greatest NBA players of all time.
The Knicks organization expressed their sadness in a statement, saying, "The Knicks organization is deeply saddened to announce the passing of our beloved captain, Willis Reed. 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.
His is a legacy that will live forever. We ask everyone to please respect the family's privacy during this difficult time." Beyond his playing career, Reed also made a significant impact as a coach, working with the Knicks, Atlanta Hawks, Sacramento Kings, and Nets.
The NBA community and fans around the world offer their condolences to Reed's wife, Gale, his family, and friends. Reed's passion and determination on the court have left an indelible mark on the sport of basketball and will continue to inspire future generations.