The 15 greatest bigs in New York Knicks history

(Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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New York Knicks
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Willis Reed

Perhaps no image is more significant than that of Willis Reed hobbling out of the tunnel in Game 7 of the 1970 Finals, fighting through the excruciating pain of a right thigh muscle tear in order to provide his teammates with the emotional boost to go on to capture the title.

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Although he only played the first few minutes, it was enough to get in the heads of the opposing Wilt Chamberlain-led Lakers and to spark an awe-inspiring 36 point and 19 assist performance from the legend Walt Frazier.

A life-long Knick, Willis Reed played his way into All-Star selections for the first seven of his ten seasons of professional basketball. In that decade, he averaged a ridiculous 18.7 points and 12.9 rebounds.

Blocks only began being recorded in his final season, in 1973-74, but even then in his decline, he averaged 1.1 blocks per game and .6 steals per contest in just 19 games that he managed to play.

Willis Reed was the inspiration that brought the Knicks their first, second and only titles as one of the most storied franchises in NBA history. Few are able to come to New York and continue to play at such a high level, the lights are just too bright.

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Willis Reed did it in the most honorable fashion, putting his body on the line which ultimately no doubt impacted his longevity on the court.