HoopsHype Micheal Ray Richardson rumors

April 25, 2014 Updates

His story is better than any buzzer-beating basket. His reality beats any fantasy. Micheal Ray Richardson overcame the path of self-destruction and now does all he can to keep others away from the perils of drugs. As the community ambassador of the Denver Nuggets, Richardson is a visible figure in his home state, a tireless spokesman for one of the most important topics of our time: drugs. “I speak to kids every day about how important it is to stay in school, to carefully choose your friends and beware of the dangers about being around the wrong people since they are always getting involved with drugs,” Richardson was saying Saturday during a phone conversation. “My speech is really from my history. I think that a person like me has a lot to offer young kids.” Ed Odeven Reporting

September 14, 2013 Updates
March 24, 2013 Updates

On the day Ray Williams passed away, was it karma or coincidence Micheal Ray Richardson was on the Knicks’ scene Friday night at Air Canada Centre? The Knicks drafted Williams with the 10th pick in 1977 to be Walt Frazier’s successor. Williams and backcourt mate Richardson were supposed to lead the Knicks back to the promised land. Last night, the Garden held a moment of silence for Williams and original Knick, Bud Palmer. Never worked out that way. “I’m real sad,’’ Richardson told The Post Friday night while watching the Knicks beat the Raptors. “He and I were like brothers.’’ Williams died yesterday after battling colon cancer at Sloane Kettering Hospital at age 58. Richardson is living in Canada, coaching the nearby London Lightning of the NBL, and had stopped by to visit his former teammates, Knicks coach Mike Woodson and assistant Darrell Walker. New York Post

October 27, 2012 Updates

"The low point of every moment has been happy, include dealing with the media, but I haven't enjoyed having the responsibility to end careers," he said of the lifetime bans imposed on repeat drug abusers such as Micheal Ray Richardson and Lewis Lloyd. "But for the most part it has been a series of extraordinary experiences, and enormous putting-together of pieces of a puzzle, and it goes on for forever. There will always be another piece of the puzzle, so the question is, at what point do you decide that, you know, let somebody else do it? That's the point that I'm at now." NBA.com

April 24, 2012 Updates

Joe Taub, the man who helped bring the Nets to Jersey 35 years ago, wasn’t there. He couldn’t drag himself to Newark, couldn’t watch his team play its last game in Newark and leave the state. He wouldn’t even return phone calls to talk about it. "This whole event is about him,” said Micheal Ray Richardson, who spoke with the former owner this week. “It was just a sad moment for him. He has a right to be sad. He worked so hard to bring an NBA franchise here.” New York Daily News

January 27, 2012 Updates

One can find a lot of words to describe a man who is on one hand fascinatingly complex, yet on the other deals with life in amazing simplicity. But you don't have to go deep in the dictionary to find the word that most suits Micheal Ray Richardson. Big would be the term that suits the man they call Sugar. Everything the coach of the London Lightning does is big. In the world of the National Basketball League of Canada in London, Richardson has become big. Big man. When he played in the National Basketball Association, he had big talent. He lived big. He had big success; he had big failures. Big basketball career in countries outside the United States. Coaches big, winning multiple minor-league basketball championships. And he dresses large, in the flashy, classy style that often makes him look like he stepped out of GQ. "You see these shoes," he said pointing to patterned, completely beaded loafers, "$500 and I can only get them at one store in Las Vegas." Big shoes, big personality . . . big, bold and bountiful personality. Toronto Sun

He doesn't know what the future holds but even though he would like a chance to coach in the NBA, the thought doesn't consume him. "I don't regret anything. Would I do things differently if I had another chance? Of course," Richardson said. Richardson does think about what could have been though. He remembers Len Bias, a college star selected by the Boston Celtics as the second overall pick in the 1986 NBA draft. Two days after the draft, Bias died from cardiac arrhythmia induced by a cocaine overdose. "Len Bias never had a chance. God gave me another chance," Richardson said. "I have great health, I am happy. Like I said, God had a plan for me. He had a plan for Len Bias. That could have been me. There is a plan for me." Toronto Sun

August 17, 2011 Updates

NBL Canada's London Lighting have hired former NBA player Michael Ray Richardson as the teams first-ever Head Coach. Ray Richardson was drafted fourth-overall by the New York Knicks in the 1978 NBA Draft and was touted as the next Walt Frazier. The Boston Celtics drafted Larry Bird two spots after him with the #6 pick. In only his second-year with the Knicks Ray Richardson became the first player to lead the NBA in both assists (10.1) and steals (3.2) setting Knicks franchise records in both categories. Ray Richardson played 8 years in the NBA mostly with the Knicks, a short stint with the Golden State Warrior and 1983 and eventually becoming an Eastern Conference All-Star in 1984. Canada/Canadian Basketball

August 16, 2011 Updates

That's Larry Bird he is abusing. Midcourt at the Garden, and Bird pushes a two-handed pass above Sugar's head; Sugar leaps, steals the ball clean, and then it is just he and Bird, and this is a mismatch to end all mismatches, so Sugar takes him off the dribble and lays it in. You watch those highlights of Richardson as a young man and it's like someone put Magic Johnson on fast-forward: He is quick and strong and fearless in the lane, a point guard from the slums of Denver unleashed on the streets of New York at a precarious moment to be young and rich in America. He blew through half a dozen agents and (according to a 1985 Sports Illustrated profile) bought 16 cars, including a Mercedes with "Sugar" inscribed in gold on the handle of the stick. He partied at Studio 54 and Plato's Retreat. He clashed with coaches (Hubie Brown most of all) and he demanded more money and he disappeared at inopportune times, often without adequate explanation, and amid that erratic behavior he would tantalize you with absurd lines like the 27 points, 15 rebounds, and 19 assists he put up against Cleveland in March of '81. Grantland

"At some point, it went from snorting to freebasing," says Otis Birdsong, who played alongside Micheal Ray in New Jersey. "I remember the first time I saw that I was at a teammate's house, and guys kept walking in and out of the kitchen. And I poked my head in and said, 'That's what they're doing.' It's amazing to me that guys could do that and perform. But I never knew Micheal had those problems until the problems arose. That stuff just got the best of him, as it has a lot of people." Grantland

Two days after Christmas in 1985, Micheal Ray went to a team Christmas party at George's Restaurant in Moonachie, N.J., then left with a girl for a party in Fort Lee. He didn't show up at practice the next day, and landed in rehab once more. Three months later, after attempting to break into the home of his then-estranged wife, he failed a third drug test. On February 25, 1986, four months before Len Bias overdosed on high-grade cocaine in a Maryland dormitory, NBA commissioner David Stern banned Micheal Ray from the league, ostensibly for life. Off he went, to Italy and to Croatia and to France, where he played until the age of 46. Grantland

It took some time for Birdsong to realize that Micheal Ray was serious about this coaching thing. So much about him seemed ill-suited to the profession: He was serially high-strung and he never lifted weights as a player and he was so shaken by losing that his teammates would have to calm him down afterward. Hell, even if his game was grounded in the fundamental understandings of a point guard, Sugar never wanted to let go of that ball himself. "Sugar always wanted to shoot," Birdsong says. And yet for some reason, it seems to work. For three straight seasons before this one (twice in the CBA and once in the PBL), Micheal Ray won league championships in Lawton. There is nothing conventional about Micheal Ray's coaching style; he's been known to get into raging arguments with his own players in the locker room. As long as it happens in private, he doesn't care. But earlier this year when he began screaming on the sideline at one of his players for not sliding over on defense, and that player told him, with a profane flourish, to please get off his case, Micheal Ray told him to pack his bags at halftime and don't come back. Grantland

In June, he went to coach a team in Thailand; in early August, a few weeks after the basketball camp ended, with the Lawton franchise temporarily defunct, he took a job coaching in the newly formed National Basketball League of Canada. As long as he keeps winning, there will be work for him, even if it is his job to occupy the places in-between. "Right now, I'm pretty happy," he says. "I mean, is there some things that I would do different if I could? Yeah. But I can't worry about it now. It's over. It's done." Grantland

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