Yes, folks. Willis Reed really did fight the entire Los Angeles Lakers bench in 1966.
Newspaper accounts detailed the Oct. 18, 1966 rumble involving Reed, a New York Knicks great known mostly for his gritty performance in Game 7 of the 1970 NBA Finals. But there had been no visual evidence until Michael Rapaport revealed video footage of the fight during Tuesday’s premiere of the ESPN “30 for 30” documentary, “When the Garden Was Eden.”
“It showed that the Knicks had a guy who wasn’t going to take any more (expletive),” Rapaport said of the altercation in a recent interview, according to Newsday. “It was one of the key moments to turn around that team from being the pushover of the league.”
The Knicks had endured seven consecutive losing seasons before Reed put up his dukes. You could say he single-handedly beat the crap out of several Lakers and changed the culture of New York basketball.
Well done, Willis.