3. Willis Reed, C

  • 1964-74
  • 18.7 PPG, 12.9 RPG
  • 3rd in franchise history with 12,183 career points
  • Member of 1970 and 1973 Championship Teams
  • No. 19 jersey retired, Basketball Hall of Famer

He was known simply as “The Captain.” This was long before Derek Jeter, so Willis Reed was the top dog in the Big Apple.

Nothing exemplified his uncanny leadership abilities more than Game 7 of the NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers. You know what happened. Playing on one-leg Reed decided to come out of the tunnel in heroic fashion. His two early buckets were enough to put the game away right there and then.

Only Bill Russell truly stood in Reed’s way of having a truly legendary NBA career. Even still, being named a one-time NBA MVP (1969-70) and two-time NBA Finals MVP (1970, 1973) ain’t too shabby.