Ray Williams, ex-Celtics guard, dead at 58

Ray Williams, who reached the NBA Finals in 1985 with the Celtics, died Friday in a New York City hospice, according to his wife, Linda. He suffered a stroke Wednesday while undergoing treatment for late-stage colon cancer.

Williams, 58, an 10-year NBA veteran, led the New York Knicks in scoring over the first four years of his pro career after starring at the University of Minnesota with Kevin McHale, Mychal Thompson, and Flip Saunders.


His teammates on the 1984-85 Celtics included McHale, Larry Bird, and Robert Parish.

Williams, who averaged 15.5 points and 5.8 assists in his NBA career, fell on hard times later in life and was homeless in 2010 when the Globe wrote about his plight. With help from McHale and Bird, he regained his financial footing and married Linda Crawford.

Get Sports Headlines in your inbox:
The Globe's most recent sports headlines delivered to your inbox every morning.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

Williams was living in Florida before the Knicks paid for a jet to transport him last month to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

A funeral will be scheduled in Mount Vernon, N.Y., where he grew up with his brother, Gus Williams, an NBA All-Star in the early ’80s.

Real journalists. Real journalism. Subscribe to The Boston Globe today.
We hope you've enjoyed your free articles.
Continue reading by subscribing to for just 99¢.
 Already a member? Log in Home
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of
Marketing image of