Basketball Hall of Famer Willis Reed, who heroically played through injuries during Game 7 of the 1970 NBA Finals to lead the New York Knicks to their first NBA championship, has reportedly died at the age of 80, according to veteran sports reporter Peter Vescey.
"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," Vecsey tweeted.
Reed spent his entire career with the Knicks after being selected at No. 8 overall in the second-round of the 1964 NBA Draft. The former Grambling State standout was a two-time NBA champion (1970, 1973), two-time NBA Finals MVP (1970, 1973), the 1970 NBA MVP, a seven-time All-Stat (1965-71) and the 1970 NBA All-Star Game MVP.
Reed's signature career moment took place during Game 7 of the 1970 NBA Finals when he suddenly came out of the tunnel to play after his status was initially unknown due to a right thigh injury. The center recorded four points, three rebounds and one assists while playing 27 minutes through injuries as the Knicks clinched their first of two NBA championships.