The National Basketball Retired Players Association confirmed the death of former NBA player and coach Willis Reed Jr., 80.
He will forever be remembered by NBA followers for his incredible performance in the 1970 NBA Finals, which ultimately led to the New York Knicks’ first NBA title. He made a dramatic entrance from the locker room only minutes before game time and played despite being in excruciating pain, earning him widespread acclaim from his peers.
The player’s family acknowledged the news of his death after it was reported by the league. Reed reportedly died of heart failure. It has been stated that he has not been feeling well for a few weeks. The player was reportedly suffering from congestive heart failure for over a year.
NBA fans all across the world are paying respect to the player as news of his death has made headlines. With any luck, this essay will enlighten you about the legendary NBA basketball star.
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Willis Reed’s Cause of Death
Willis Reed’s cause of death has not been confirmed. However, his former teammate and former United States senator, Bill Bradley mentioned that Reed had congestive heart problems. This is merely a theory at this point, but it’s one that could account for his death.
To recover from his heart condition, Willis Reed reportedly visited the Texas Heart Institute in Houston, as reported by Bradley in The New York Times. He learned the devastating news from Reed’s wife.
The Knicks family has taken to Twitter to express their sadness over the loss of Willis Reed, using the hashtag “Our Captain.” As the basketball world mourns the loss of a true icon, we can take solace in reflecting on Willis “The Captain” Reed’s incredible life and legacy.
Our Captain. pic.twitter.com/2Bg1ro4y37
— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) March 21, 2023
Pete revealed in a tweet following the news of Willis’ death that the former Knicks player was in rehab after suffering from congestive heart problems. Willis had also entered a rehabilitation facility to help him regain his ability to walk, according to the journalists.
Just received word that Willis Reed, 80, passed this morning. He has suffered from congestive heart problems over the past year or so, and was going through rehab to walk. Loved everything about Willis! A man’s man!!
— Peter Vecsey (@PeterVecsey1) March 21, 2023
Some of Willis’s fans have pointed to his MVP performance at the 1970 NBA All-Star Game as evidence of the star’s enduring popularity among basketball fans on social media.
50 years ago today, Willis Reed wins the 1970 NBA All-Star Game MVP, leading the East to a 142-135 win with 21 points, 11 rebounds & 2 blocks.
Reed would go on to win league MVP and Finals MVP later that season for an unprecedented triple crown.pic.twitter.com/2BE6LCTFK9
— Knickstory (@KnicksHistory) January 20, 2020
After Leaving the Military Willis Reed Was Very Successful
Most sports fans remember Willis for his outstanding debut season, for which he was named the NBA’s Rookie of the Year in 1965. Willis joined Hal Greer and Frank Ramsey in the NBA Hall of Fame that same year (1982). The athlete played more positions than just center throughout his time in the NBA.
After hanging up his sneakers, Willis took over as Knicks head coach. According to the NBA, he worked as a coach for the Atlanta Hawks and the Sacramento Kings before taking over as general manager for the Brooklyn Nets.
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Willis spent many years with other NBA teams, but he never forgot his glory days with the Knicks. Willis gave an enthusiastic interview to ESPN in 2010 on his time spent in New York City. “I think New York is a special place,” he said.
Willis leaves behind a wife and two children, Gale. His loved ones have our deepest sympathies at this time.