#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.

The Big O: Miami Heat at Orlando Magic

Open the door and let us in! We have tickets!

Open the door and let us in! We have tickets!

 

 

 

 

Orlando vs Miami is a big enough event that news trucks were stationed outside Amway Arena. And I had no ticket

Orlando vs Miami is a big enough event that news trucks were stationed outside Amway Arena. And I had no ticket

 

 

 

Heat concerned for D-Wade after he falls down hard. View from my seat.

Heat concerned for D-Wade after he falls down hard. View from my seat.

 

Eventually I retire to my home away from home

Eventually I retire to my home away from home

 

The other side of Orlando; I kinda liked the ghetto edginess of O-Town.

The other side of Orlando; I kinda liked the ghetto edginess of O-Town.

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