The New York Knicks are back in the Garden for Game 4 against the Cavaliers and are off to quite the start. Whereas both teams struggled offensively in Game 3, the Knicks’ shots (well, except for Julius Randle) have been falling early on.
Like every other team in the league this season, the Knicks have been wearing a black No. 6 patch on the right side of their jerseys for Bill Russell. The Celtics great passed away on July 31, 2022.
Along with the patch for Russell, New York has been wearing a black No. 19 ribbon on the left side of their jerseys, opposite of the No. 6 patch. The Knicks lost a legend at the end of March when Willis Reed passed away at the age of 80. New York started by wearing a black ribbon, but a 19 was added to honor Reed’s memory.
Knicks wear 19 ribbons on their jerseys to honor legend Willis Reed
New York wore the ribbon to close out the regular season, but it’s even more meaningful to wear the Willis Reed ribbon during the playoffs. The fact that he took the court in Game 7 of the 1970 Finals was enough to help propel the Knicks to win their first-ever NBA title.
Reed’s second-to-last season in the league featured New York’s second NBA title in 1973, which is the last time that the Knicks won a championship. That team was honored at the Garden during the regular season for their 50th anniversary, but Reed wasn’t able to make it. He did address the crowd in a video that had been prerecorded.
Little did Knicks fans know, Reed would pass away less than a month after that. He might not have been able to make it to the Garden that night, but at least New York was still able to recognize Reed and his teammates.
Willis Reed’s memory will live on forever.