On March 21, the sports world suffered a tragic loss after Willis Reed’s unexpected death. In light of the shocking news, fans of the former New York Knicks star have flocked to social media with heartfelt tributes. One person wrote, “Willis Reed has passed away at the age of 80, A gentle giant. A huge loss for the NBA family. Rest easy, Willis.” Another fan praised Reed’s impact on their childhood, writing, “He was undersized as a center, but no one had a bigger heart or greater desire. RI[ to another piece to my youth.”
In addition to a barrage of fan tributes, many of Reed’s industry peers also celebrated his incredible feats, on and off the court. In a statement, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver praised the beloved athlete for his leadership skills and team player mentality. “He played the game with remarkable passion and determination, and his inspiring comeback Game 7 of the NBA Finals remains one of the most iconic moments in all of sports.”
The Knicks organization echoed similar sentiments in their own Twitter statement. “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,” they wrote. While Reed’s passing has left a sad mark on fans, his impact will undoubtedly live on.