Knicks legend Willis Reed has died at age 80

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Knicks legend Willis Reed has died at age 80
Knicks legend Willis Reed has died at age 80 (Provided by Sport World News)

Willis Reed, NBA legend of the New York Knicks, has died at 80. The Knicks announced his death in a statement: "The Knicks organization sadly announces the passing of our beloved Captain Willis Reed. While we mourn, we will always seek to continue the behaviors he left us.

His unparalleled leadership, sacrifice and work ethic have made him a champion among champions. His legacy will live on forever. We ask everyone to respect the family's privacy during this difficult time." The most famous moment of his career dates back to game 7 of the 1970 Finals.

The Knicks faced Wilt Chamberlain's Lakers at home, and Reed had missed the previous game with a bad thigh injury that should have kept him out of the decisive game. Instead, the center originally from Louisiana shocked Madison Square Garden by showing up on the field for the warm-up.

In that game he scored only 4 points, but he was decisive for the victory by marking Chamberlain himself. His Knicks won the title and he deserved the Finals MVP award, which he would also win again in '73.

Knicks legend Willis Reed has died at age 80

He retired very early, at just 32, due to the many injuries that affected him.

He coached the Knicks themselves, Creighton collegiately and the New Jersey Nets, later moving into the front office. Originally from Louisiana, he represented a very important piece of the history of the New York franchise.

In his NBA career, he only played for the Knicks, from 1964 to 1974, winning two titles in 1970 and 1973. He also won the Regular Season MVP award once and was the Finals MVP twice. Despite his certainly not impressive physique for a center, he managed with his athleticism to establish himself as one of the best players in the league.

In the 1969-70 season he was dominant in both halves of the court, averaging 21.7 points and 14 rebounds per game, winning the MVP and being placed in the first defensive lineup.