HoopsHype Ray Williams rumors

July 2, 2010 Updates

One thing Williams especially wants them to know: Unlike many troubled ex-players, he has never fallen prey to drugs, alcohol, or gambling. “When I played the game, they always talked about loyalty to the team,’’ Williams said. “Well, where’s the loyalty and compassion for ex-players who are hurting? We opened the door for these guys whose salaries are through the roof.’’ Unfortunately for Williams, the NBA-related organizations best suited to help him have closed their checkbooks to him. The NBA Legends Foundation, which awarded him grants totaling more than $10,000 in 1996 and 2004, denied his recent request for help. So did the NBA Retired Players Association, which in the past year gave him two grants totaling $2,000. Boston Globe

In 2005, he filed again for bankruptcy. Transient since then, Williams has bounced from one friend’s house to another’s, from one shelter to another. He finally ran out of friends to stay with, soured on the shelter life, and settled a couple of months ago in his car. He also owns a ’97 Chevy Tahoe but needs to pay a repair shop $550 to release it. He has no health insurance or car insurance. And he already has tapped his NBA pension, he said. “I’m desperate, man,’’ said Williams, who as captain of the 1980-81 Knicks was at times the toast of Broadway. “I’m selling everything I have left just to survive.’’ Boston Globe

When the Celtics signed Williams in February 1985 to back up guards Dennis Johnson and Danny Ainge, Knicks general manager Dave DeBusschere was quoted as saying, “Ray Williams will help Boston as long as they keep the ball out of his hands at the end of games. Otherwise, he’ll try taking the last shot instead of Larry Bird, and [Celtics president] Red [Auerbach] will be out there with a gun.’’ But Williams fared relatively well playing with four future Hall of Famers — Bird, McHale, Johnson, and Robert Parish. He said his best memories involved playing one-on-one in practice against Bird and harassing Ainge on defense in scrimmages. “I enjoyed my time in Boston,’’ he said. “I got along well with all the guys.’’ He appeared in every playoff game that year for the Celtics, averaging 6.3 points and 3.2 assists, until he was ejected in Game 4 of the Finals for scuffling with LA’s Kurt Rambis. Williams did not play again (coach’s decision) as the Lakers went on to win the series in six games. Boston Globe

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