The Houston Rockets community suffered a great loss on Tuesday after former player Robert Reid passed away from cancer at the age of 68, per Matt Young of the Houston Chronicle. His on-court impact and selfless nature away from basketball touched many fans across the 1970s and 80s, which is something current team owner and Texas native Tilman Fertitta appreciated and recognized.

“It is with great sorrow that my family and I received the news of the passing of Rockets legend, Robert Reid,” he posted on X. “I have had the privilege of knowing Robert for over 40 years, and his presence always brought joy and positivity to any room he entered. My heartfelt condolences go out to his wife, Diana, and all those who held him dear. Robert's absence will be deeply felt, and he will be fondly remembered.”

Robert Reid was a key part of the Rockets' rise

The 6-foot-8 small forward was selected by the Rockets in the second round of the 1977 NBA Draft and soon became an important contributor on what were some of the best teams in franchise history. He helped Houston reach the Finals for the first time ever in 1981, averaging 16.1 points, 6.8 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 2.4 steals and 1.1 blocks per game during that playoff run. Reid also played excellent defense on all-time great Larry Bird, but the Boston Celtics claimed the championship in six games.

Reid was instrumental in the Rockets' return trip to the NBA Finals in 1986, draining a 3-pointer to tie Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals versus the Los Angeles Lakers (Houston had 3-1 series lead) late in the contest, per SB Nation's Lachard Binkley. The clutch basket allowed Ralph Sampson to make his iconic buzzer-beater and eliminate one of the most legendary dynasties the sport has ever known.

Unfortunately, the Rockets fell to the Boston Celtics again and were unable to leave an undeniable mark on the decade. But Robert Reid made a lasting impression on the organization and its loyal fan base. He scored 8,823 points in 762 games with Houston and also played for the Charlotte Hornets, Portland Trail Blazers and Philadelphia 76ers.

His legacy extends far beyond the hardwood, though. Reid temporarily quit basketball for the 1982-83 season to serve the Pentecostal church. This rare individual will be missed.