Date of Birth:25 June 1942
Born At: Bernice, LA USA
NBA Experience :10 seasons
Finals MVP in same year (1970)
Willis Reed biography
The moment remains a basketball classic: Willis Reed’s courageous hobbling walk through the tunnel at Madison Square Garden and onto the floor for game seven of the 1970 championship series between the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers. Reed had injured his knee in game five, and it appeared that he and the Knicks were finished. Not true. On one leg, Reed played 27 meaningful minutes and scored four points. The Knicks won game seven and the inspirational Reed stood larger than life, a true legend. During a 10-year career, Willis Reed compiled plenty of statistics, but it was his winning attitude, determination, desire and leadership that inspired teammates and steered New York toward the 1970 and 1973 NBA championship.
As a two-time All-America at Grambling State University from 1960 to 1964, the six-foot-ten, 240-pound Reed led the Tigers to three NAIA tournaments and the 1961 championship. He was drafted in the second round by the Knicks and was the NBA’s Rookie of the Year after averaging 19.5 points and 14.7 rebounds a game.
An All-Star in his first seven professional years (1964-71), Reed led the Knicks to their first-ever title in 1970 before injuries began slowing him down. For years, Reed banged against NBA greats Wilt Chamberlain, Wes Unseld and Lew Alcindor, and it gradually took its toll. Tendinitis in Reed’s knees obliterated the 1971 and 1972 seasons, but his unrelenting will and spirit enabled him to overcome the frustration and anguish and return in 1973. The left-handed Reed contributed athletically and spiritually to another Knick NBA title in 1973. Torn cartilage in his right knee forced Reed to retire in 1974, cutting short a marvelous career. A physical inside player who had a soft outside jump shot, Reed is the only player named MVP of the All-Star Game, regular season and playoffs in the same year (1970). A five-time All-NBA selection, Reed tallied 12,183 points (18.7 ppg) and grabbed 8,414 rebounds (12.9 rpg). Playing with a Hall of Fame cast of Dave DeBusschere, Bill Bradley, Walt Frazier, Earl Monroe and Jerry Lucas, Reed led the Knicks in scoring five seasons and in rebounding six seasons. His number 19 jersey was retired by the Knicks.