2. Willis Reed
While there’s a debate for the first part of the list, Willis Reed holds steady as the second best center in New York Knicks history, behind another organization great. For two decades, however, this was the top player at the five spot.
Reed played 10 years in New York, from 1964-74, with five seasons of double-double averages, including 21.1 points and 14.5 rebounds per game in 1968-69. He also made seven consecutive all-star games from 1964-65 (his rookie season) to 1970-71.
Of course NBA fans know Reed best for his famous thigh injury—a muscle tear that threatened his ability for the rest of Game 7 of the 1970 NBA Finals vs. the Los Angeles Lakers.
After a trip to the locker room, Reed limped back to the game and provided two unforgettable baskets on basically one leg. The Knicks secured Game 7 and won the 1970 NBA championship.
It goes beyond this one game, however, as Reed won the 1964-65 Rookie of the Year award, the 1970 NBA Finals MVP, the 1970 All-Star Game MVP, the 1969-70 NBA MVP and the 1973 NBA Finals MVP.
At age 31, Reed left the game due to injury, but still walked away as a two-time champion and later became New York’s head coach, as well as stints with Creighton and the New Jersey Nets.
Reed put together a legendary career that placed him in the Pro Basketball Hall of Fame. Along with a retired jersey number, he owns a top spot in franchise history.