Hornets VP Reed will retire next year on reaching 65

Updated: December 2, 2006, 8:52 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Willis Reed, the New Orleans Hornets' vice president of basketball operations, said Friday that he plans to retire in June, the month in which he will turn 65.

Reed's three-year contract with the NBA team ends that month. The Louisiana native said he plans to retire to the Ruston, La., house he shares with his wife, Gale.

"This is my last contract," Reed said. "This was three years I was very fortunate to have, getting to be back in my home state."

Reed is best known for his 10-year playing career with the New York Knicks, who he led to championships in 1970 and 1973. He was Rookie of the Year, won two league MVP awards and was a seven-time All Star before retiring early due to a right knee injury.

After his playing days, Reed coach Creighton from 1981-85 before moving on to the pros. He coached the Knicks from 1997-99 and the New Jersey Nets from 1987-89, where he served as GM from 1988-96. Reed moved upstairs as a senior vice president of the Nets before coming home to New Orleans.

Hornets owner George Shinn doesn't want the relationship to end.

"I've been trying to talk him out of [retiring]," Shinn said. "I love the guy to death.

"He's got a great mind. He's good with players. I've told him, 'Man, I'm older than you, and I'm still pluggin' away. You can't give it up. I think I'll be able to talk him out of it."

Reed was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1982.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.