McFarlane - NBA Legends - Willis Reed
When League MVP and team captain Willis Reed tore a thigh muscle in Game Five of the 1970 NBA Finals, it opened the door for a Lakers comeback. Jerry West and Wilt Chamberlain led Los Angeles to a series-evening Game Six victory over the now captain-less Knicks. Game Seven in Madison Square Garden saw a hopeful New York crowd watch the hometown heroes go through warm-ups without their beloved leader. But a funny thing happened as the trophy prepared for a trip to L.A. From the dark tunnel emerged Reed, limping badly on his injured leg. The Knicks' captain hobbled to the court and settled into the starting lineup. Reed scored the first four points of the game and helped hold Chamberlain to 21 points with 27 minutes of the most courageous basketball ever seen as the Knicks ran away with the game and the championship. Reed would miss the next two years with injuries, but return to help the Knicks to another title in 1973. He retired in 1974, his professional career cut short by injury, but his legendary courage and dedication earned him a place of honor in basketball's Hall of Fame.