There is no other way to say it: Clifford Ray was a badass.
In his day, centers were centers and that was just the way it was. Well Ray played center at 6-9 and did it very well, routinely going up against much taller players like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar or much stronger players like Bob Lanier.
He was a powerful figure on the court and in the lockerroom, where his teammates adored him.
Interesting trivia: Ray got a BFA in music and can get around on most woodwinds.
He had a cool role in the basketball movie Inside Moves and had an even cooler accomplishment in 1978, when he saved a dolphin’s life at Marine World: the dolphin had swallowed something dangerous and only someone with arms as long as Ray’s could retrieve it, and thus avoid dangerous surgery.
So he did it.
Since retirement, he’s been coaching and has proved just as popular in that role.