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Volume 20 No. 41
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What others are saying …

“Once he gets behind something he puts every ounce of energy into it to get it done. He truly took a situation where the NBA wasn’t on anyone’s radar in Orlando and he created the momentum in the community to rally around the NBA. Without his efforts, the Magic is not in Orlando.”

Orlando Magic CEO

“Pat asked me where would the NBA [expand] in Florida and I told him right here in Orlando. We didn’t have anything but were growing by leaps and bounds, and we needed him. He became interested and was a great promoter. He knew the NBA inside and out.”
Orlando businessman and an original member
of the Orlando Magic investment group

“We took the same paths, to some degree. He got involved in the Magic, I got involved in the Miami Heat, and we experienced some wonderful joys together. To some degree, we became a little envious of Pat on how he could get so lucky on getting those No. 1 [NBA lottery] picks.”
Former Philadelphia 76ers coach and member of the
original Miami Heat investment group

“It was Pat’s show in Philadelphia, and he was also strong on the basketball side. He was a promotional leader before the NBA become standardized, where every halftime and every dance team is the same.”
Former president of business operations
with the Memphis Grizzlies

“You could just see Pat had the charm to relate to the fans, and some of the promotions he used to draw local people to the park were unprecedented. He was a version of Bill Veeck.”
Former Philadelphia Phillies owner
and a longtime friend of Williams

“The NBA would never have come to Orlando without Pat. He sold the league on its potential, and that is the best thing he ever accomplished in his career.”
Former Philadelphia 76ers coach
and general manager

“Pat is always very positive and direct in his management style. He is a very good evaluator of people and talent. Pat’s biggest strength is the ability to start something and build it. The Orlando Magic is a great example of that.”
Orlando Magic owner

“If Pat is calling, he must be writing another book, and it will either be funny, moving or business-related. I don’t know how he does it. He is somebody you want on your side.”
NBA commissioner, on the prolific Williams,
who has written 80 books

Compiled by John Lombardo