1) Best 8th overall picks: Willis Reed
Isn’t it perfect that the greatest player ever selected 8th overall is a New York Knicks Hall-of-Famer?!
Willis Reed was drafted eighth in the 1964 draft. Things were a bit different back then, as the 8th pick was technically in the second round. Long before the lottery, the Knicks were granted the top pick in the draft for having the worst record the season before—imagine that logic.
New York used the first overall pick to select Jim Barnes. Remember him? Yeah, I didn’t think so. They made up for that pick with their lead pick in the second round.
Reed would go on to win the 1964-65 Rookie of the Year Award in catapulting his career to superstardom. He made seven All-Star teams, five All-NBA selections, and in 1969-70, he won the NBA MVP, the All-Star Game MVP, and the MVP of the NBA Finals.
Knicks fans remember Reed most for hobbling out of the tunnel at Madison Square Garden in Game 7 of the 1970 NBA Finals. But he was much more than a heroic figure who hit a few timely baskets after suffering an injury. He was The Captain and one of the best big men in the NBA at a time when the Knicks were champions.
Perhaps Knicks president Leon Rose should call upon Willis Reed to bring him some luck in selecting the next Knick in the 2020 NBA Draft.