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Ray Williams Dies At Age 58

(Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)


Former NBA player Ray Williams, who played 10 seasons in the NBA, with six different teams, died on Friday. He was 58-years old.

No official cause of death was released, but Williams had been suffering from colon cancer.

Born in Mount Vernon, New York, Williams began his college basketball career at San Jacinto Junior College, before transferring to the University of Minnesota, prior to the 1975-76 season.

With the Golden Gophers, Williams averaged 18.9 points-per-game, along with 6.6 rebounds-per game.

The New York Knicks selected Williams with the 10th-overall pick in the 1977 NBA Draft. He averaged 9.3 points-per-game in his rookie campaign, before averaging at least 17.3 points-per-game in his next three seasons with the franchise, including the 1979-80 season, when his averaged a career-high 20.9 ppg.

After his four years with the Knicks, Williams was traded to the New Jersey Nets for forward Maurice Lucas, where his averaged 20.4 ppg.

Despite his success, New Jersey turned out to be a quick stop for Williams, as he was traded to the Kansas City Kings for point guard Phil Ford, prior to the 1982-83 season.

Williams continued to play well in Kansas City, averaging 15.4 points, along with 7.9 assists a contest.

After one season with the Kings, Williams returned to the Knicks for the 1983-84 season, after being traded for Billy Knight. In his return to the Big Apple, Williams averaged 14.8 ppg.

That turned out to be the final time that Williams averaged double-digit points in a year, as he spent the final five years of his career in a reserve role with the Celtics, Hawks, and Spurs, along with a second stint with the Nets, with whom he finished his career in 1986-1987.

Williams had financial problems after his NBA career, filing for bankruptcy in 1994, and later being homeless, before turning his financial situation around in recent years.

Williams scored 10,158 points over his ten-year career, averaging 15.5 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 5.8 assists-per-game.



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