Ex-Knick Ray Williams dies at 58

March, 22, 2013
3/22/13
5:30
PM ET
Former Knicks and Nets guard Ray Williams, a native of Mount Vernon, N.Y., died Friday at 58.

Williams, who went by "Sugar" on the court for his sweet style of play, had been battling colon cancer at New York City's Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

The 6-3 guard was drafted 10th by the Knicks in the 1977 NBA draft, and he went on to play his first four seasons in New York. Williams also spent the 1983-84 season with the Knicks and 1981-82 with the Nets. He closed his NBA career with New Jersey, playing 32 games for the Nets in 1986-87.

In 10 NBA seasons, he averaged 15.5 points and 5.8 assists per game. The farthest he went in the playoffs was in 1985, when he was a bench player for the Celtics team that lost to the Lakers in the Finals.

Williams at one point was unemployed and homeless, after having spent his $2 million in NBA earnings. But with the help of a few of his former Boston teammates, and Mount Vernon Mayor Clinton Young Jr. offering him a job, Williams was able to get back on his feet in recent years, according to a Boston Globe profile in 2011.

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