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Hall of Fame basketball player, Willis Reed, who won two National Basketball Association championships during his legendary career with the New York Knicks, has died, the team confirmed in a statement on Tuesday. He was 80.
Reed played 10 seasons in the NBA from 1964 to ’74, all with the Knicks. He was named to the All-NBA team five times, made seven All-Star teams, and won MVP in the 1969-70 season.
The team said, “The Knicks organisation is deeply saddened to announce the passing of our beloved Captain, Willis Reed.
“As we mourn, we will always strive to uphold the standard he left behind – the unmatched leadership, sacrifice and work ethic that personified him as a champion among champions.”
“His is a legacy that will live forever. We ask everyone to please respect the family’s privacy during this difficult time.”
Reed’s most famous moment came during Game 7 of the 1970 NBA finals against the Los Angeles Lakers. After a thigh injury had sidelined him in the previous game, Reed shocked the Madison Square Garden crowd by walking onto the court during warmups.
He scored the Knicks’ first two field goals and went on to win Finals MVP as the Knicks won the franchise’s first championship. Reed was again named Finals MVP two seasons later after New York’s second title.