Amid the ceaseless acquisitive frenzy that is NBA free agency, the Boston Globe dropped a harrowing profile of Ray Williams, a former captain of the New York Knicks and a reserve guard on the Boston Celtics' 1985 NBA Finals team who played for six teams during a 10-year NBA career from the late '70s through the mid-'80s. Williams' name might not ring out with today's fans, but he averaged 20 points per game in two different seasons (1979-80 and 1981-82), hung 52 on the Detroit Pistons as a member of the New Jersey Nets on April 17, 1982, and once drew (admittedly aspirational) comparisons to the great Walt Frazier.

Now, writes the Globe's Bob Hohler, he's homeless.

Every night at bedtime, former Celtic Ray Williams locks the doors of his home: a broken-down 1992 Buick, rusting on a back street where he ran out of everything.


The 10-year NBA veteran formerly known as "Sugar Ray'' leans back in the driver's seat, drapes his legs over the center console, and rests his head on a pillow of tattered towels. He tunes his boom box to gospel music, closes his eyes, and wonders.

Williams, a generation removed from staying in first-class hotels with Larry Bird and Co. in their drive to the 1985 NBA Finals, mostly wonders how much more he can bear.

The most sobering thing about Hohler's piece? Williams' decline into unemployment, poverty and homelessness appears to have just kind of ... happened.

Williams, a former University of Minnesota standout who averaged 15.5 points and nearly six assists per game during his time in the league, blew the roughly $2 million he made in contracts during his career. Maybe Williams' family, former friends and associates merit some scorn for allowing him to live alone in a car in Florida; then again, maybe they've all had to distance themselves from Williams after 20-plus years of never getting his stuff together and failing to repay repeated loans, favors and kindnesses.