The world lost a legend yesterday – Willis Reed at 80 years old.
Reed was known to his Knicks teammates (a team he played his entire career for), as “The Captain.” Amongst his many accomplishments – 2 titles, 50 greatest players of all time, etc., he’s perhaps most known for what he did on May 8 of 1970.
I thought abt his actions, thru a MH lens, & it just made sense to share it this way.
The Knicks, who’d never won a title as a franchise at the time, were playing the Lakers in the NBA Finals. All big names on that Lakers team like Wilt & Jerry West.
In Game 5 of the series, Reed went down w what appeared was a series ending injury: a torn thigh muscle. The Knicks won Game 5, & Reed sat out Game 6 as the Lakers poured it on, & evened the series at 3-3.
For Game 7, the teams were warming up, & not surprisingly, Willis wasn’t out there. Then, out of nowhere, just before tip, the crowd went wild, as in his warm-ups Reed limped out on to the court. Those who were there said there was an electricity like they’ve never seen before/since at MSG. The Lakers players watched in awe.
Willis had very little to give. He scored the game’s first 2 buckets/4 pts, & didn’t score a SINGLE point after that. Only had 3 rebounds. But his showing up was all his Knicks needed to capture their first title.
Sometimes we don’t have much to give – but just showing up is what others need from us.
This last 2 wks I’ve felt like half a person. The 10 cities on the road has destroyed my self care routine. I’ve not had a chance to share much (but will), I’ve just been a shell of myself. That said, the Sabres org gave me & my teammates a platform to help spread a msg of hope to Buffalo this wk, pregame, in-game, on the news. We don’t take those opportunities lightly. I dont think I was my best self & I’m no Willis Reed either. But sometime when others need us, if we can make it, just showing & being there, to talk, hold a hand, listen, is all OTHERS need to press on…& maybe even excel. Thnx to my teammates for lifting me as well at a time I needed it.
We can be there – for each other, even when not our best, like Willis that night.