(NBAE via Getty Images)

Willis Reed, a Basketball Hall of Famer, Knicks icon and trailblazer, has died at 80.

On Tuesday, March 21, the Knicks confirmed the news, sharing that “as we mourn, we will always strive to uphold the standards 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.”

Reed, who was selected eighth overall by the Knicks in the 1964 NBA Draft, forged a legendary career over the course of his 10 seasons with the franchise.

As a rookie, Reed was selected to the NBA All-Star team and won Rookie of the Year honors for the 1964-65 NBA season. He would go on to earn six more All-Star selections, five All-NBA selections and win MVP of the 1969-70 NBA season.

Reed helped lead the Knicks to NBA titles in 1970 and 1973, earning Finals MVP honors both times. In one of the most famous moments in NBA history, a hobbled Reed emerged from the tunnel ahead of Game 7 of the 1970 NBA Finals to lead New York to victory.

Reed retired following the 1973-74 season. His No. 19 was the first in Knicks franchise history to be retired.

Post-retirement, Reed began his coaching career as the Knicks' lead man for the 1977-78 season. He coached Creighton from 1981-85, was an assistant in the NBA from 1985-88 and finished his coaching career leading the Nets during the 1988-89 season.

Reed was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1982, was named as one of the NBA’s 50 Greatest Players in 1996 and was named to the NBA 75 Team in 2021.

After the news of Reed’s passing, the basketball world mourns a monumental loss.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver issued the following statement today
regarding the passing of Willis Reed: pic.twitter.com/AKoimNMDqH

— NBA Communications (@NBAPR) March 21, 2023

🙏🏾 https://t.co/uardvD2n3n

— Wilson Chandler (@wilsonchandler) March 21, 2023

Source: https://www.sportingnews.com/us/nba/news/willis-reed-dies-nba-mourns-knicks-icon-hall-of-fame/atsqmny24b9j3ny9k8j9rsbd