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Magic co-founder Pat Williams announces his retirement

Pat Williams, Magic

The Orlando Magic have bid farewell to one of its most transcendent figures.

Pat Williams announced his retirement from the team Monday, bringing his 30-plus year tenure to an end.

Via NBA.com:

“We are so grateful to Pat Williams for what he has done for sports in Orlando, Fla.,” said Orlando Magic Chairman Dan DeVos. “Back in 1986 sat this beautiful city in the center of the state that was the perfect spot to bring what was missing – NBA basketball to the great people of Orlando. On behalf of our entire family, we thank Pat for making the Magic a reality.”

Williams, along with businessman Jimmy Hewitt, became responsible for bringing the Magic to Orlando in 1987. Prior to his memorable time with the franchise, Williams had stints with the Chicago Bulls, Atlanta Hawks and Philadelphia 76ers.

“Pat’s many accomplishments will always be remembered, but ultimately he was a visionary who helped transform the world of sports in multiple ways,” said Magic CEO Alex Martins. “From bringing the Magic to Orlando, to transforming sports marketing and promotions, he was always one step ahead. Pat forever changed the sports landscape in Orlando. He shined a light on what has been known for so long from native Central Floridians, that this is a fabulous place to live, work and play. We all owe him a debt of gratitude.”

“Even though I’m retiring from basketball,” Williams told The Orlando Sentinel, “I’m not retiring from life.”

The Magic will try to build off this season’s playoff appearance in hopes of continuing to make strides in the Eastern Conference.