Christopher Halajian on Carl Braun and Willis Reed, Knicks Players That Made History
For any basketball fan following their favorite team for years, to choose a top five or even a top three would be a difficult task, says Knicks fan Christopher Halajian. There are so many factors to consider; from the era that they played in, the years they were active on the court, individual statistics and so on. You will also have to factor in the quality of the team at the time, says Christopher Halajian. For this post, Christopher chose to talk briefly about his top two favorites based not only on their performance but more importantly, their significance in Knicks history.
For Christopher Halajian, Carl Braun deserves to be on top of the list because he was instrumental in putting the Knicks on the map, leading them to second place in the Eastern Division and securing for them a playoff game against the Baltimore Bullets. Although the team still struggled and never won any titles yet, they were nevertheless considered a worthy opponent. At the time of his retirement, Carl Braun was the Knicks’ leading scorer, scoring a total of 10,449 points. He played for the Knicks from 1947-1950 and 1952-1961. He was a 5x NBA All-Star, and 2x All-BAA Second Team in 1948 and 1954.
Willis Reed joined the New York Knicks in 1964 as its center (he later played their power forward). It was during his time that the Knicks won their first and second NBA championship titles, in 1970 and 1973. His other career highlights include scoring a total 46 points during a game against the Los Angeles Lakers, which, according to reports, was the “second-highest single-game” score ever by a Knicks rookie. He was a 2x NBA Finals MVP in 1970 and again in 1973, NBA MVP in 1970, 7x NBA All-Star from 1965to 1971, NBA All-Star Game MVP in 1970 (first player to receive the award), and NBA Rookie of the Year in 1965.
These are only some of his accomplishments, says Christopher Halajian. But the main reason that Christopher picked him: his relentless spirit propelled his team to win games. In fact, one of the best Knicks games in history was during a game against the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals of the 1969-1970 season. Reed was injured during Game 5, and by Game 6, he was unable to play. The Knicks lost the game to the LA Lakers. As team captain, Reed knew what he had to do. He had to lead his team to win Game 7. Limping on the court, shares Christopher Halajian, he scored the team’s first two baskets, but he was unable to score more after that. However, it was his spirit that inspired his team to show the Lakers what they’ve got. True to form, they went on to win Game 7 with a score of 113-99.
There are, of course, several other Knicks greats on Christopher Halajian’s list, including Patrick Ewing, Larry Johnson, Allan Houston, and Charles Oakley. These players deserve their own post, too, says Christopher Halajian, so you can expect to read about them right here in the coming days.