Ray Williams, a former Knicks captain who 30 years ago teamed with Michael Ray Richardson to form one of the NBA’s most flamboyant backcourts, died today at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. Williams, 58, had been suffering from colon cancer.

A guard with a chiseled physique, Williams was drafted 10th overall by the Knicks in 1977. He came to New York during the bridge years, after the glory championship days of Willis Reed and Bill Bradley, and before Patrick Ewing arrived to lift the franchise.

In the meantime, Williams and Richardson brought sizzle to Madison Garden. Richardson was the taller, wiry slashing player. Williams was built more like a fullback, with well-defined thighs and arms. He entered the league not long before Magic Johnson, and he was of that mold, blurring the lines between positions. He was 6-foot-3 and moved smoothly between the responsibilities of point guard, scoring guard and small even small forward.

– Reported by Craig Wolff of the Newark Star-Ledger