The National Basketball Retired Players Association recently announced the death of Willis Reed, a two-time NBA champion most known for leading the New York Knicks to their first championship victory.
The NBRPA announced the news after he passed away on Thursday; his family would go on to confirm the announcement. A cause of death was not revealed, but poor health was cited as a contributor. The Hall of Famer is considered one of the most historic players in the league, and needless to say, many have been outspoken about their grief over Reed’s death.
“Willis Reed was the ultimate team player and consummate leader. My earliest and fondest memories of NBA basketball are of watching Willis, who embodied the winning spirit that defined the New York Knicks championship teams in the early 1970s,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver wrote in a statement shared on Twitter.
Reflecting on the athlete’s substantial career and impact on the sport, Silver added the information, “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.”
In addition to the NBA commissioner, the New York Knicks also issued a personalized statement on Twitter that honored their former player. “The Knicks organization is deeply saddened to announce the passing of our beloved Captain, Willis Reed,” they began.
New York Knicks pay tribute to Willis Reed’s work ethic
“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,” the team continued. “We ask everyone to please respect the family’s privacy during this difficult time.”
Reed, who was often called the Captain of the Knicks for his demonstration of leadership, concluded his NBA career with seven All-Star selections, two-time Most Valuable Player awards, and a Hall of Fame induction.
However, many remember the player fondly for being able to do what most consider impossible: only two games after suffering a serious injury to his thigh, he emerged from the locker room on Game 7 of the 1969-70 season NBA finals and helped lead his team to a championship title.
Needless to say, his impact on the New York Nicks and the NBA as a whole is immeasurable, and he will be sorely missed by all who knew him.
At The Buzzer, or ATB is the place for those who love sports, life, family, community, and so much more. We are far from the run-of-the-mill 24/7 sports news websites. We not only bring you what’s happening in the world of sports in terms of trades and breaking news, but we also bring you the news that goes on behind the scenes, like big life moments, and so much more. So take a minute and read one of our articles, we promise you won't regret it.