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Former Knicks point guard Ray Williams dies of cancer

Mar 22, 2013, 6:25 PM EDT

ray-williams Getty Images

Sad news coming out of New York — Ray Williams, a point guard born in New York who went on to play for the Knicks among others during a 10-year NBA career, has passed away from cancer. He was 58.

Williams was the No. 10 pick in the 1977 draft out of Minnesota and he played his first four seasons in New York (much of it next to Michael Ray Richardson). Williams was a good defender who averaged 15.5 points a game for his career. In addition to New York he had stints with the Nets, (then Kansas City) Kings, Celtics, Hawks and Spurs.

However, after his playing days things fell apart for the man known as “Sugar Ray” and he ended up homeless and living out of his car. It was a sad story.

Knicks coach Mike Woodson spoke about Williams to the New York Post.

“He was awesome,” Woodson told The Post recently. “Physical. Tough. Knew how to play. He was a prototype combo guard because he can play 1, he could play 2 and could guard the 3 because he was so physical. To see him in the hospital like that you don’t wish that on anyone. That’s why we should be fortunate we can walk around and laugh.”

Our thoughts are with the friends and family of Williams.

  1. Mr. Wright 212 - Mar 22, 2013 at 6:32 PM

    RIP Ray Williams, one of MVHS’s finest (along with his brother Gus, the McCray brothers and BEN GORDON). Such a tough break Ray had after he left the Knicks and the NBA SMH.

  2. kb2408 - Mar 22, 2013 at 6:58 PM

    R.I.P. Man, him and Michael Ray could’ve been one of the best backcourts ever.

  3. craighsite - Mar 22, 2013 at 7:00 PM

    RIP Ray Williams! My first ever Pro game I saw at MSG against the Celtics 1980. He and “Sugar Ray” were a problem! Those cats could ball! lol. God Bless!

  4. ron05342 - Mar 22, 2013 at 7:12 PM

    Very sad story.

  5. larrybrown43 - Mar 22, 2013 at 7:22 PM

    Wow! Cocaine ruined that promising tandem. The Human Eraser and now this.

  6. dysraw1 - Mar 23, 2013 at 11:23 AM

    really bad break for Ray.RIP

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