How the Magic Came to Orlando

Came to Orlando

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We are discussing here Pat Williams stepped onto the podium to speak to the Orlando media. “We are in the race, but we are far behind.” The idea for the Orlando Magic was born in the hearts of the public that morning, but the journey had just begun.

Pat Williams met Jimmy Hewitt in 1984 when Hewitt heard him speak at a reception in Tulsa. Out of pure serendipity, their paths crossed at the First Presbyterian Church in Orlando a year later. Williams, in his 11th year with the Philadelphia 76ers, had heard rumors of the potential for an NBA expansion. While contemplating the possibility of leaving his post as general manager in order to be part of something new and exciting, Pat had begun to consider locations in Florida, namely Tampa and Miami. When Jimmy learned that Pat was considering Tampa or Miami, he said, “The future of Florida is there, Bubba.” Pat was dubious, mostly because the Orlando arena was still only at the blueprint stage. Pat took off from the airport with the growing belief that Orlando could be ready for the NBA.

First Presbyterian Church in Orlando a year later

All that had to wait because Pat Williams was still under contract to lead the 76ers during the 1985-1986 season. With trainer Matt Guokas, a name everyone Magic fans know, and a starring lineup including Moses Malone, a young Charles Barkley, Julius “Dr.Unfortunately, their championship shooting ended when Dr. J missed a last-second shot against the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 7 of the half conference final. Despite the fact that the 76ers had the number one choice in the first round and a large group of players, Williams knew it was time to migrate south.

Pat Williams flew to Orlando and met Jimmy Hewitt and Tip Lifvendahl, the editor of the Orlando Sentinel. A few days later, Pat called the pivotal press conference at the Expo Center. He announced that Orlando is going to lobby to join the NBA through the spread of a rumor. The other teams competing at that time were Charlotte, Minneapolis, and Miami. Pat has announced that she will start taking subscription deposits of $ 100 per year for up to three years.

Came to Orlando

Tip Lifvendahl came to Williams afterward and said, “Put us in for 100 tickets and a skybox.” The next morning, Jimmy went down to the post office to check the P.O.Box and found it empty except for a little note that said to speak to a clerk. He approached the office and was told to wait a moment. The clerk disappeared and quickly returned with more than 400 letters full of promise.

Subsequently, this press conference sparked the first controversy over what would be a long and passionate rivalry with Miami. Williams replied, “I think we all know about Miami’s problems.” The next morning, the Miami Herald published the story with the title “Orlando Enters Chase, Williams Blasts Miami”. Just like that, the rivalry that Williams calls the “grapefruit wall” had started.

Subsequently, this press conference sparked

The Orlando Sentinel held a contest, urging members of the central Florida community to submit their best suggestions. “Tropics” has been eliminated as it is not geographically accurate for Orlando.  Williams approached Disney to make sure there was no conflict over the selection of the name. Disney approved and the rest is history.

On July 2, 1986, Williams, Hewitt, Senator George Stuart, and Mayor Frederick traveled to New York to meet David Stern. As they presented their $ 100,000 deposit check for the official request, the journalists were present to take photos.

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