Robert Reid’s Legacy: Former Houston Rockets Star Dies at 68 After Cancer Struggle

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Former NBA player Robert Reid, a staple name in Houston Rockets history, has passed away at the age of 68 after battling cancer, as reported by the Houston Chronicle. 

Reid, renowned for his defensive prowess and contributions to the Rockets during their NBA Finals appearances in the 1980s, leaves behind a legacy that transcends the basketball court.

During his 13-year career, Reid established himself as a formidable small forward, notably playing a pivotal role in the Rockets’ journey to the NBA finals in the 1980-81 and 1985-86 seasons. His defensive tenacity, highlighted by his matchups against basketball legends like Larry Bird, earned him respect and recognition within the league.

In Bird’s autobiography Drive, Reid was acknowledged for his defensive skills, albeit with a hint of understatement from Bird himself. 

Despite the backhanded compliment, Reid’s impact on the court was undeniable, as evidenced by his crucial 3-pointer in Game 5 of the 1986 Western Conference Finals, a game that paved the way for Ralph Sampson’s legendary buzzer-beater.

Robert Reid Leaves NBA for Religion

robert-reid's-legacy-former-houston-rockets-star-dies-at-68-after-cancer-struggle
Former NBA player Robert Reid, a staple name in Houston Rockets history, has passed away at the age of 68 after battling cancer, as reported by the Houston Chronicle.

However, Robert Reid’s journey in the NBA was not solely defined by his on-court exploits. In a surprising turn of events, he walked away from a lucrative contract in 1982 to pursue his faith, dedicating himself to the Pentecostal church. 

His decision reflected a deeper commitment to personal values over material success, a sentiment he expressed in an interview with the LA Times in 1985.

Despite his hiatus from professional basketball, Reid eventually returned to the NBA, showcasing his enduring passion for the game.  

Beyond his tenure with the Rockets, Reid also left his mark on teams like the Hornets, Blazers, and briefly, the 76ers, demonstrating his adaptability and resilience throughout his career. As news of Reid’s passing reverberates throughout the basketball community, tributes pour in, underscoring his impact both on and off the court. 

Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta expressed his condolences, highlighting Reid’s enduring positivity and joy. With his legacy deeply etched into NBA history, Robert Reid will be remembered not only as a basketball icon but also as a symbol of integrity and resilience.

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