NBA 75th Anniversary Season LogoNBA 75th   Anniversary Team

Willis Reed

2X
NBA Champion
2X
NBA Finals MVP
7X
NBA All-Star
5X
All-NBA
1X
Rookie of the Year

Things to Know


Struck gold as a resilient center.

For a decade, Willis Reed brought physicality and force to the Madison Square Garden floor, and was a key cog on the New York Knicks' championship teams of the 1970s. Reed averaged double-figure scoring in each of his 10 seasons and at least 11.6 rebounds per game in seven of them.

Career
He had a successful collegiate career at Grambling State University, averaging 26.6 ppg and 21.3 rpg in his senior season. That helped him become the No. 8 overall pick and he made immediate impact as a rookie, notching New York's second-highest single-game rookie scoring total on with 46 points against the Los Angeles Lakers on March 5, 1965. He averaged 19.5 ppg in 1964-65 en route to Rookie of the Year and All-Rookie First Team honors.

The 1969-70 campaign was Reed’s pinnacle season. He was named NBA MVP, led the Knicks to their first NBA title all while averaging a career-high 21.7 ppg and 13.9 rpg. In addition, that season marked Reed becoming the first player to win regular season MVP, Finals MVP and All-Star Game MVP all in the same season. He was also named to the All-NBA and All-Defensive First Teams.

Reed’s most iconic moment came in Game 7 of the 1970 Finals, when he heroically returned from a thigh injury suffered in Game 5 of the series. To the surprise of the Madison Square Garden crowd, Reed came walking out of the tunnel to warm up despite suffering a torn thigh muscle. Despite only scoring two field goals in Game 7, Reed's presence gave the Knicks the energy boost they needed to blow out the Lakers and capture the title.

In 1971-72, Reed began to struggle with knee tendinitis that would ail him the rest of his career. Despite this, he helped the Knicks get back to The Finals in 1973, where they once again defeated the Lakers in five games. Reed was named Finals MVP of the series.

Injuries cut Reed's career short and he played just 19 games in 1973-74 before retiring. At the time of his retirement, he was in the Knicks' top 10 in nearly every category and, in 1976, became the first Knicks player to have his number -- No. 19 -- retired. Following his career, Reed was a college coach (52-65 in four seasons at Creighton), an NBA coach (82-124 record in four seasons) and an NBA executive (with the Nets from 1990-96).

Highlights


NBA 75th Anniversary Team: Willis Reed

NBA 75th Anniversary Team: Willis Reed

The New York Knicks' starting five

The Resiliency of Reed

Stats


18.7
PPG
12.9
RPG
1.8
APG

* Through the 2020-21 season

Career regular season stats

Seasontmagegpminptsfgmfgafg%3pm3pa3p%ftmftaft%orebdrebrebaststlblktovpf
1973-74NYK321926.311.14.49.745.7---2.22.879.22.54.97.41.60.61.1-2.6
1972-73NYK316927.211.04.810.247.4---1.31.874.2--8.61.8---3.0
1971-72NYK301133.013.45.512.543.8---2.53.569.2--8.72.0---2.7
1970-71NYK297339.120.98.418.246.2---4.15.278.5--13.72.0---3.1
1969-70NYK288138.121.78.717.150.7---4.35.775.6--13.92.0---3.5
1968-69NYK278237.921.18.616.552.1---4.05.374.7--14.52.3---3.8
1967-68NYK268135.520.88.116.649.0---4.56.372.1--13.22.0---4.2
1966-67NYK257836.220.98.116.648.9---4.66.273.5--14.61.6---3.8
1965-66NYK247633.415.55.813.343.4---4.05.375.7--11.61.2---4.3
1964-65NYK238038.019.57.918.243.2---3.85.174.2--14.71.7---4.2
Overall65035.518.77.515.747.6---3.85.174.72.54.912.91.80.61.1-3.7
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75thAnniversary Team
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Selected for being pioneers that have helped shape, define, and redefine the game. This is the NBA 75th Anniversary Team.