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Mochalman
07-03-2010, 11:43 PM
Fri Jul 02 01:00pm PDT

The sad tale of Ray Williams: 10-year NBA vet now homeless
By Dan Devine



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, adamantly tells Hohler that he's "never fallen prey to drugs, alcohol, or gambling," and he's never been arrested, so it's not like he's some shiftless sociopath whom we can easily vilify. According to the feature, there wasn't one key traumatic event that keyed Williams' downfall, with one possible exception ó already down on his luck, Williams received a grant from the NBA Legends Foundation, which provides need-based assistance to people who have been involved in the pro game. But according to court records, Hohler writes, "he lost the money ... when the widow of a condominium owner who agreed to a lease-to-own contract with Williams opted out of the contract after the owner died." Which sounds like a horrendously bad break that exacerbated an already ugly situation.

It doesn't sound like a case of over-the-top avarice, either; while Hohler notes that Williams was "no longer able to sustain his NBA lifestyle" when he first filed for bankruptcy in 1994, he doesn't mention any particularly conspicuous consumption or extravagant expenditures. As the story goes, Williams just hasn't been able to hang on to any of a slew of off-court jobs over the course of the 23 years since he retired in 1987. Now, he's got nothing except the '92 Buick he sleeps in and a '97 Chevy Tahoe that he can't get out of hock.

There's no prime mover behind the disintegration, no obvious flaw in the system against which to rage. Like any story of slipping through the cracks in American society, that makes it harder to digest, compartmentalize and set aside.

Maybe NBA players of today, who make exponentially more money than their predecessors before ever stepping on the court, do owe a fiscal debt to the players who came before; then again, maybe Williams bears the blame because he 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.

Maybe agencies like the Legends Foundation and the NBA Retired Players Association need to do more to help people like Williams; then again, maybe they've already done enough, having given him grants totaling more than $12,000. Maybe his coaches, teachers and mentors failed him, setting him to serve as one more awful example of how, when it comes to young basketball players, the only training and skill development that anybody really cares about takes place on the hardwood. Then again, maybe "Society's to blame" is a red herring that divests the downtrodden of personal responsibility.

Whichever way your sympathies run, the story of how Ray Williams' life fell apart should serve as a cautionary tale for athletes of the imperative to prepare for life after the game ó and, frankly, a jarring reminder to all of us that we should appreciate what we're lucky enough to have while we're lucky enough to have it.

.

Kakaroach
07-03-2010, 11:50 PM
Wow, thats crazy. When you hear about players going bankrupt, you think thats crazy. But living in your car? Thats just on a whole nother level.

Mile High Champ
07-03-2010, 11:54 PM
Great article, I really do feel bad for Ray Williams. Hopefully he can get his life back on track going forward somehow. Great find!! It's much better than half the garbage threads that get posted in the NBA forum each day.

D Roses Bulls
07-03-2010, 11:59 PM
that's so sad

boms-4
07-04-2010, 12:12 AM
Hope we can turn his life around

SANDBURG23
07-04-2010, 12:21 AM
Knicks should give hiom a public relations job working with the homeless.

R_O_W_E
07-04-2010, 12:22 AM
Hes leaving something out in order to get sympathy.

We all know that you dont just end up homeless for no reason.

howiend
07-04-2010, 12:22 AM
thanks for posting this article - i remember watching ray williams in college - the gophers had a great team and I followed him in the nba

Black24Momba8
07-04-2010, 12:27 AM
its very sad every bodys your friend with there hand out when your at the top of your game but when times get hard were the **** are they at when your down

Kashmir13579
07-04-2010, 12:36 AM
shame he cant do taco bell commercials like chuck

Hellcrooner
07-04-2010, 12:41 AM
he was somewhat good in teh beggingin of his career but never got to his ceilling.

not surprising tough since they dedint win that much money then as in how much they do today.

dabears2010
07-04-2010, 12:51 AM
Hes leaving something out in order to get sympathy.

We all know that you dont just end up homeless for no reason.

This theory is far from the truth. There is people all over the world that run into bad times that they can't overcome. Some people may have made a mistake when younger (such as having a baby too young). Well when the court orders more child support than a person can afford and that person gets behind on payments, then what? They start autimatically taking 50% of that person's paycheck. Let's just say that person is making $9/hr for 40 hours a week. That is $360 /week. 50% for child support leaves that person $180. Taxes should be another 15-20%. Let's just say 15% for this arguement. That is $54 of the original $360. That leaves him $126 / week. That is $504 / month. Do you think this is a case of "someone not just ending up homeless for no reason" (nice grammar by the way)? Do you think $500 / month could support him having food, housing, transportation, bills, etc...? NO you idiot. This scenario happens all the time. I'm a student right now, but was getting help from my Dad for awhile because of this same exact scenario. Except I was a salesman at a very large New/used car lot. I sold quite a bit, but was ordered back in the day to pay $488 / month for child support. Obviously that is too much for someone that at the time was in jail for a DUI. I was in jail in the same county as the hearing was, but wasn't told about it or brought to the hearing so my ex lied about what I made and the judge gave her the $$. Before going to jail I was making $7/ hour through a temp service. I was 19 years old. Fortunately I had help from family or would've been homeless myself and living in a 1969 mustang. Some things are out of your control.

Black24Momba8
07-04-2010, 12:57 AM
Hes leaving something out in order to get sympathy.

We all know that you dont just end up homeless for no reason.

Ray Williams, who played in the NBA for a stellar 10-year career, is now homeless 23 years later. According to the Boston Globe, Williams doesnít use drugs or drink or gamble. Heís just had abysmal luck job-wise and financially and now itís all gone. He lives in a car that doesnít run and undoubtedly eats in soup kitchens. What the heck?

Williams reportedly made over $2 million while playing in the NBA from the years 1977 to 1987 and apparently he just could not hang onto the money. He has also gotten about $12,000 in money from the NBA Legends Foundation, which he used to purchase a condo to live in, under a lease-to-own contract that through no fault of his own, was not honored by the widow of the man he made the contract with.

Apparently he hasnít been able to find steady work that heís good at, and in short; thereís no one reason why heís homeless. Itís a whole bunch of reasons: bad luck, bad money management, bad choices and bad people in his life that either took advantage of him or did not help him to be responsible for himself.

Image courtesy of sports.yahoo.com

http://www.current-movie-reviews.com/people/2010/07/03/why-is-former-nba-star-ray-williams-homeless/

dodie53
07-04-2010, 01:29 AM
sad.

hgtiger32
07-04-2010, 01:49 AM
that's too sad....

JPHX
07-04-2010, 02:00 AM
eddy curry.

The Raven
07-04-2010, 05:04 AM
Hopefully he can get his life back together cos nobody wants to see this happen

archangel
07-04-2010, 05:44 AM
lol. awesome i have no remorse for retards who would rather be cool with their buds than invest in a future

magichatnumber9
07-04-2010, 07:29 AM
Someone get this guy a job at one of the training facilities or something. Lets go NBA

R_O_W_E
07-04-2010, 09:42 AM
Ray Williams, who played in the NBA for a stellar 10-year career, is now homeless 23 years later. According to the Boston Globe, Williams doesnít use drugs or drink or gamble. Heís just had abysmal luck job-wise and financially and now itís all gone. He lives in a car that doesnít run and undoubtedly eats in soup kitchens. What the heck?

Williams reportedly made over $2 million while playing in the NBA from the years 1977 to 1987 and apparently he just could not hang onto the money. He has also gotten about $12,000 in money from the NBA Legends Foundation, which he used to purchase a condo to live in, under a lease-to-own contract that through no fault of his own, was not honored by the widow of the man he made the contract with.

Apparently he hasnít been able to find steady work that heís good at, and in short; thereís no one reason why heís homeless. Itís a whole bunch of reasons: bad luck, bad money management, bad choices and bad people in his life that either took advantage of him or did not help him to be responsible for himself.

Image courtesy of sports.yahoo.com

http://www.current-movie-reviews.com/people/2010/07/03/why-is-former-nba-star-ray-williams-homeless/

That sounds better. No person should end up in that position anyways, there are many outlets that can help you. It sounds like desperation has turned into stubborness.

infernoscurse
07-04-2010, 10:24 AM
whats sad is that if lebron gave him 1 million of his 16 million i bet he could get his life back on track

JasonJohnHorn
07-04-2010, 07:15 PM
http://ca.sports.yahoo.com/nba/blog/ball_dont_lie/post/The-sad-tale-of-Ray-Williams-10-year-NBA-vet-no?urn=nba,253262

disk 8
07-04-2010, 09:18 PM
well his bbq sauce is the best. i always use sweet baby rays on my bbq. you think he would be banking off that stuff.

Lakersho
07-04-2010, 09:44 PM
...god bless ,this guy who lightened our days playin a game we all love to watch. nba should give ray a hand , they can afford too...

JPHX
07-04-2010, 10:56 PM
well his bbq sauce is the best. i always use sweet baby rays on my bbq. you think he would be banking off that stuff.

oh **** thats really his sauce? thats stuff is the bomb and only goes for a buck at the grocery store. He should probably raise the price then.

Raph12
07-04-2010, 11:00 PM
Who's Ray Williams?

avrpatsfan
07-04-2010, 11:02 PM
its very sad every bodys your friend with there hand out when your at the top of your game but when times get hard were the **** are they at when your down
Unfortunately that's how it is.

BradyIsTheMan12
07-04-2010, 11:05 PM
:laugh2:

x2 That guy got a little too intense about it.

69centers
07-04-2010, 11:09 PM
It's sad, but not that sad, as I will probably never make 2 million dollars in my lifetime, let alone in the 10 year career he did it in. If he found a way to blew it all, it's kind of his tough luck now.

SA5195
07-04-2010, 11:10 PM
That sucks.

D-Train#35
07-04-2010, 11:49 PM
How do you blow 2 million dollars? He should look into coaching at his old University.

Lakeshow86
07-05-2010, 12:11 AM
cant get a job in basketball? im sure the knicks or someone has jobs in the organization. The least they can do for a guy that played great for them. At least give him a job as a janitor or something. He probably knows alot about the game. Maybe an assistant coach in college? athough you cant feel too sorry for him. He did make 2 million dollars in 10 years. Thats more money than lots of people make in a lifetime. If he had just been smart instead of living the great life buy nice cars and everything he would probably be doing good. He just became like lots of the players and got greedy and thought they were kings that could do anything. They need to really tell this guys that the NBA isnt going to be around forever. Your not going to be making tons of money and then afterwards what are you going to do? Although i dont think players these days have anything to worry about because they make alot more money than they did 25 years ago. The best thing for lots of these guys if finnishing college. that way if they have to start working that at least can say they are a college grad and get at least a decent job. Ray's problem is he entered the workforce at the age of 35 or so with no job skills or college degree. You cant do that.

D-Train#35
07-05-2010, 12:16 AM
0 sympathy for this guy. How do you blow 2 million dollars? With all that money, if he was just going to spend it, he might as well have hired an advisor. Like I said earlier, there has to be some sort of job out there for a former solid player who has played for a two storied, rich franchises and a somewhat succesful University.

cmellofan15
07-05-2010, 12:24 AM
People like you are so ignorant ROWE. You and many others that have been fortunate enough to never have been homeless act like the only way someone gets homeless is if they choose to be homeless or are a crackhead/drug user of some kind. This theory is far from the truth. There is people all over the world that run into bad times that they can't overcome. Some people may have made a mistake when younger (such as having a baby too young). Well when the court orders more child support than a person can afford and that person gets behind on payments, then what? They start autimatically taking 50% of that person's paycheck. Let's just say that person is making $9/hr for 40 hours a week. That is $360 /week. 50% for child support leaves that person $180. Taxes should be another 15-20%. Let's just say 15% for this arguement. That is $54 of the original $360. That leaves him $126 / week. That is $504 / month. Do you think this is a case of "someone not just ending up homeless for no reason" (nice grammar by the way)? Do you think $500 / month could support him having food, housing, transportation, bills, etc...? NO you idiot. This scenario happens all the time. I'm a student right now, but was getting help from my Dad for awhile because of this same exact scenario. Except I was a salesman at a very large New/used car lot. I sold quite a bit, but was ordered back in the day to pay $488 / month for child support. Obviously that is too much for someone that at the time was in jail for a DUI. I was in jail in the same county as the hearing was, but wasn't told about it or brought to the hearing so my ex lied about what I made and the judge gave her the $$. Before going to jail I was making $7/ hour through a temp service. I was 19 years old. Fortunately I had help from family or would've been homeless myself and living in a 1969 mustang. Some things are out of your control. So quit acting like a silver spoon fed moron and show some compassion for this guy.

:laugh:

he was a NBA player not a 19 year old making minimum wage. he made 2 million dollars in his career, I'm sure if you were given 2 million to play a game you would have never been in the same situation as him. some people just don't know how to handle money.

Lakeshow86
07-05-2010, 12:32 AM
:laugh:

he was a NBA player not a 19 year old making minimum wage. he made 2 million dollars in his career, I'm sure if you were given 2 million to play a game you would have never been in the same situation as him. some people just don't know how to handle money.

somebody should have told him that the NBA isnt going to be around forever and you have no job skills or college degree. You need to save that money now and not spend it on nice cars and all the fancy stuff. Just be like your average person and dont get greed you will be fine once you get out of NBA. You dont need a fancy mansion. Just get a simple middle class house and spend money like a middle class person. 2 million dollars is more than enough for someone to life off of for the rest of their lives. He was just stupid with his money and got greedy thinking he could buy and do whatever he wants

platinum1
07-05-2010, 02:44 AM
:laugh:

he was a NBA player not a 19 year old making minimum wage. he made 2 million dollars in his career, I'm sure if you were given 2 million to play a game you would have never been in the same situation as him. some people just don't know how to handle money.

Dont forget 2 mil in that time was a real good amount.

R_O_W_E
07-05-2010, 09:36 AM
:laugh:

he was a NBA player not a 19 year old making minimum wage. he made 2 million dollars in his career, I'm sure if you were given 2 million to play a game you would have never been in the same situation as him. some people just don't know how to handle money.

This.

I read the story. It seems like Williams is blaming issues outside of his control on why hes in the position hes in, instead of taking accountability for his situation. He can't get a steady job? That is another excuse. There is a lot of things he could do to make enough money to put a small roof over his head.

whitemamba33
07-05-2010, 09:41 AM
Maybe I am supposed to feel sympathy for the guy...but I really don't. I'm sorry, but 2 million doesn't just disappear out of thin air - not in those days anyway. He lived it up, and now he's paying for it. What's wrong with that? It's kind of refreshing to me that the world works like that. No degree + no skills = house shaped like a car. Even a child could figure out that people weren't going to pay him money to do nothing after his playing days were over, I'm sure he could have figured that out as well. With no skills and no savings...what in the blue hell did he expect to happen?

R_O_W_E
07-05-2010, 09:45 AM
Maybe I am supposed to feel sympathy for the guy...but I really don't. I'm sorry, but 2 million doesn't just disappear out of thin air - not in those days anyway. He lived it up, and now he's paying for it. What's wrong with that? It's kind of refreshing to me that the world works like that. No degree + no skills = house shaped like a car. Even a child could figure out that people weren't going to pay him money to do nothing after his playing days were over, I'm sure he could have figured that out as well. With no skills and no savings...what in the blue hell did he expect to happen?

I pretty much agree.


But Williams' problem is that hes blaming specific incidents as to why hes in the position hes in, instead of doing something about it. Hes too caught up on how he got homeless, than trying to avoid being homeless anymore. The part that bothers me is that he "cant hold down steady work". He should be taking accountability for that, not blaming jobs for letting him go.

I hope he doesn't expect the government to take care of him. Put him in a home, get him job training, and give him food stamps.

KnicksorBust
07-05-2010, 09:46 AM
0 sympathy for this guy. How do you blow 2 million dollars? With all that money, if he was just going to spend it, he might as well have hired an advisor. Like I said earlier, there has to be some sort of job out there for a former solid player who has played for a two storied, rich franchises and a somewhat succesful University.


:laugh:

he was a NBA player not a 19 year old making minimum wage. he made 2 million dollars in his career, I'm sure if you were given 2 million to play a game you would have never been in the same situation as him. some people just don't know how to handle money.


This.

I read the story. It seems like Williams is blaming issues outside of his control on why hes in the position hes in, instead of taking accountability for his situation. He can't get a steady job? That is another excuse. There is a lot of things he could do to make enough money to put a small roof over his head.

These 3 posts x2. I'm sick of the world feeling bad for everyone and wanting to give bailouts to people who make stupid mistakes. I mean look at some of these posts. "If LeBron just gave him $1 million of his $16 million..." WTF? Why the hell should LeBron do that? How bout LeBron build a hospital in an underpoverished nation instead? That I could get behind. The NBA Cares isn't about helping out Ray Williams, Antoine Walker, and Vanilla Ice (suck it rip van winkle) who can't handle their money. There are real charities and real problems out there. This guy should have just sucked it up and worked as a janitor, construction worker, whatever. Anybody with a real work ethic can figure something out over 20 years.

R_O_W_E
07-05-2010, 09:54 AM
These 3 posts x2. I'm sick of the world feeling bad for everyone and wanting to give bailouts to people who make stupid mistakes. I mean look at some of these posts. "If LeBron just gave him $1 million of his $16 million..." WTF? Why the hell should LeBron do that? How bout LeBron build a hospital in an underpoverished nation instead? That I could get behind.

:laugh2: :clap:

It sounds like thats what Williams is expecting also, the same applies to some of the old bitter former basketball players who feel "too good" to do certain jobs to bring in an income. He thinks because he played in the NBA, that players of this generation who at the very worst make $2 Million in a season, should be doing more to help him live the way he wants to. There is nothing I hate more than people who feel entitled to another man's riches. The NBA should have a system in place to send a monthly check to retired players with maybe 5 years experience, but the current NBA players shouldn't have to bail out a 55 year old man living in his car.



Anybody with a real work ethic can figure something out over 20 years.

This.

Anybody with a real work ethic can get out on the grind and put together a great income to live off of. Its hard work, but everyone can do it. If the government made some drastic changes to the welfare system, more people would be back to hustling to make ends meet. Williams could work 2 jobs, and have a business on the side he does.

I know thats what I'd do. I'd work a 9-5, a 10-5. Then sell weed on the side.

JAZZNC
07-05-2010, 11:04 AM
Why the hell does everybody feel sorry for these guys? If you've ever got $1million in your life I don't feel sorry for you a bit. Why the **** should I? These guys get all the money, have access to all the financial support they can handle, simply put unlimited resources and still when they fail miserably people feel sorry for them. **** that guy, if he's homeless it's his own damn fault.

geraptor
07-05-2010, 11:31 AM
if the money wasnt taken from him why would you feel sorry?:confused:

fadedmario
07-05-2010, 11:49 AM
It's the story of our country right now.

Margie
07-05-2010, 11:50 AM
Some big shots with lots of cash need to help him get on his feet.