SEPTEMBER 18, 1974
Ten years ago, yesterday, Willis Reed retired from basketball after 10 amazing, and at many times, painful years in the NBA. All ten of which he played with the New York Knickerbockers. It’s a great time to reminisce about Reed as the NBA lockout continues… Memories of championship seasons, decades ago still resonate with Knick fans. The seven time All Star finished his career averaging 18.7 points and 12.9 rebounds, while winning two championships. He was selected by the Knicks in the 2nd round of the 1964 draft and played hard every night.
If you are old enough to have witnessed ‘The Game’ (shown above) on May 8th, 1970 or if you aren’t but have seen Reed’s greatest gutsiest performance of his career replayed on TV, then you would know the size of his heart and drive in that 7th and deciding game. He had suffered a severe thigh injury; a torn muscle actually, that had kept the him out of game 6; making his entrance above one of the most thrilling and dramatic in Knicks history. That 1969/70 season was the last time the Knicks have won 60 games in a season and 18 in a row!
September 18, 1974…not a memorable or famous date in NBA history, but an opportunity for us to remember and acknowledge the greatness that was “The Captain”…Number 19- Willis Reed.