#TheFrugalFan Interview with the legendary Pat Williams of the Orlando Magic

Pat Williams, the Orlando Magic executive enshrined in the Pro Basketball Hall of Fame, recently interviewed me for his weekly in-depth radio talk show. Williams is famous for landing the top lottery pick in the 1992 and 1993 NBA drafts (first and only time a team has done this back to back) and using the successive #1 picks on Shaquille O’Neal and Chris Webber (and then immediately trading the latter for Penny Hardaway).

During the half-hour program I shared a bunch of amusing tales from my NBA-hopping sojourn, as well as some golden tips to use in the ticket hunting trade.

The interview took place in two parts:

Segment one:

and Segment two:

Off air, I couldn’t resist the temptation to ask Williams, who has 35 years of pro-basketball experience management under his belt following a brief stint as a Minor-League baseball player, a question of my own. If he could do it all over again, would he have kept Chris Webber and let him play with Shaq to form the most fearsome frontcourt in the NBA, rather than trade him for an upstart point guard?

Williams did not stop to think about it. “No,” he said firmly. “People forget how great a player Penny Hardaway was, and we needed a point guard. Unfortunately his career was affected early by injuries to both his knees, but for a few years he was one of the best.”

Indeed, the Magic made it to the NBA finals (where they got swept by Hakeem Olajuwon’s Rockets) in just their second season with Hardaway at point guard. He also won All-NBA first team honors that season.

Ultimately, conversing with industry leaders like Pat Williams is what makes writing books worthwhile.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: