HoopsHype Pat Williams rumors

June 19, 2012 Updates
May 23, 2012 Updates
May 22, 2012 Updates
April 10, 2012 Updates

Orlando Magic senior vice president Pat Williams, who helped found the franchise in 1989, said Monday he would like to see star center Dwight Howard and coach Stan Van Gundy both remain with the franchise for a long time. Williams said restoring the team's health and winning would do a lot to help the franchise move past recent turmoil, capped when Van Gundy last week said that Howard wanted him fired. The coach and the star later met with Magic general manager Otis Smith, agreeing to co- exist the rest of the season and put the team first. "Finish well and then have a wonderful run in the playoffs -- that would probably cure most of the issues," Williams told The Associated Press before a scheduled speaking appearance at Michigan State University. ESPN.com

Williams said Van Gundy would admit that he can sometimes be too negative. And he said that while Howard has "grown up a lot" there is still room for maturation on his end. "I think this shook them both up -- that's my opinion," Williams said of the incident last week. "I think they're going to be better for it." ESPN.com

April 9, 2012 Updates

Orlando Magic senior vice president Pat Williams would like to see star center Dwight Howard and coach Stan Van Gundy both remain with the franchise long-term. Williams said Monday that restoring the team's health and a deep playoff run would do a lot to help the team move forward. Williams spoke with The Associated Press before addressing a function at Michigan State Univers SI.com

March 16, 2012 Updates
March 8, 2012 Updates

Pat Williams removes the black brimmed hat, something that appears to be from the Indiana Jones Collection, with a bit of Tyrolean mixed in, and reveals the remaining wisps of white hair along his head at ear level. It is Friday of All-Star weekend. More importantly, it is 13 months since Williams, the Magic's senior vice president, was diagnosed with cancer of the bone marrow cells and exactly two weeks since stem-cell surgery. He had only been released from the hospital a few days earlier. "I got out of the hospital Tuesday morning at 6:30 a.m.," Williams explains. "[The doctor] let me out. I made a speech that morning to a Boy Scout group. And that afternoon, Tuesday, the phone rings. It's Jerry Colangelo saying, 'I'm calling to break the news to you. Here's what's happened.'" NBA.com

Williams, at 71, says he feels "very good" and that doctors offer an encouraging prognosis for living with multiple myeloma, a disease that strikes approximately 20,000 people a year, according to the National Cancer Institute. He coined a catch phrase for the planned recovery: "The Mission is Remission." When the health news went public, the gregarious Williams got countless cards, e-mails and phone calls, from friends who hadn't been in contact in decades to friends from around the league to friends he hadn't met yet. It was the kind of words people say at your funeral, he called them. There were long stretches of nights with little more than two hours of sleep at a time, waking with dry mouth after a restless night punctuated by vivid dreams. But, he reports, "The transplant is working. It seems to be hitting home. The old cells are out, the dead ones are gone through chemo, and 4.9 million new stem cells from my body go back into my body. Modern medicine. Wow." NBA.com

February 24, 2012 Updates

And now, as Orlando gets ready to have the time of its life during this NBA All-Star Weekend, Pat Williams continues to fight for his own survival. "I've got a lot more life to live," says Pat, the co-founder, father and senior vice president of the Orlando Magic. "I've got more books to write, more speeches to give and all my grandchildren to educate." He is sitting out by his swimming pool in Winter Park as three of his granddaughters — Audri, Ava and Laila — are frolicking in the sun down near the banks of Lake Killarney. It was almost a year ago to this very day when Pat sat at this same table and told me he had cancer. Bad cancer. Orlando Sentinel

The disease is called multiple myeloma, an aggressive cancer that infiltrates the blood plasma in the bone marrow. It is inoperable and incurable but sometimes can be treated with chemo to the point of inactivity. "The Mission is Remission!" Pat declared that day a year ago. "Well," Pat says now, "the chemo didn't work." Orlando Sentinel

"Pat's always been the ultimate optimist," Hewitt says. "He's always been the one guy who believes anything is possible — whether its bringing an NBA franchise to a football town or fighting cancer. His motto has always been, "We can do it! We can get it done!" It's this attitude that has allowed Pat to live and fight the next battle with multiple myeloma. After nearly a year's worth of chemo failed, doctors at Florida Hospital have taken it to the next level. It's known as a stem cell transplant. Or as Pat — the ultimate baseball junkie — calls it, "the out pitch." "I wanted them to throw me everything they had in their medicine cabinet," Pat says and smiles. Orlando Sentinel

I’ve been pestering him for info since the early ’70s and never was he unavailable for comment. Why should this be any different? We spoke for over an hour but didn’t get to his well-being until very late in the conversation. Like everyone else, Pat was primed to talk about Jeremy Lin. He watched Lin mangle the Mavericks on Sunday. “Peter, you and I have seen a lot of crazy stories unfold over the years, but we’ve never lived through anything like this. Fernando Valenzuela is the closest. He came out of Mexico a 20-year-old unknown, won 10 straight over two seasons, eight straight to start the ’81 season and led the Dodgers to a World Series championship. He was electrifying and got the country whipped up. Lin has the whole world atwitter.” New York Post

November 24, 2011 Updates

Pat Williams goes to bed every night never knowing what new scene will break the darkness, only that the visits have become common since he started on medication and chemotherapy in early-February. (No sightings of a Magic championship yet, though.) The rest is fitful. He estimates his energy level at 80-85 percent of 2010. His new workout routine centers on a stationary bike, without the jarring activities of jogging or heavy lifting. "The new normal," he said. The new Pat Williams. NBA.com

This one is still senior vice president of the Magic, still making about 10 speeches a month as one of the fun personalities of the NBA, and still writing books at an assembly-line pace. Only now it's with cancer. When Williams learned in January through a routine physical that he had multiple myeloma -- cancer of bone marrow cells -- everything and nothing changed. He immediately became an outspoken advocate for sticking to a schedule of annual check-ups, hoping to especially encourage men, the stubborn gender, and any message from such a gifted speaker was sure to be delivered. But he has also mostly stuck to his previous schedule as one of the franchise's most visible faces in the community. NBA.com

Williams ducks nothing with his situation, lamenting the decreased energy and describing how he was so emotionally frayed in the early days after the diagnosis that the slightest event could send him into tears. Plus, there are the regular night visitors. He has been relatively fortunate, though, in avoiding an especially bad reaction to the chemo, nothing along the lines of regular bouts of nausea or hair loss. Most importantly heading toward a scheduled major evaluation in a couple weeks, the former general manager of the Magic, 76ers and Bulls said doctors have been encouraging in their feedback. NBA.com

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