Pat Williams, the Orlando Magic's Senior Vice President, will receive the John W. Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Thursday evening. Williams played an instrumental role in bringing the NBA to Orlando, leaving his job with the Philadelphia 76ers to do begin campaigning in 1986.
"That day in April of 1987 when word came down from New York that the NBA was going to add four new teams, including little ol’ Orlando, that was an enormous moment in my life," Williams told John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com in an interview.
Williams, 72, continues to author books and work the professional-speaking circuit, all the while battling cancer.
Past recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award include legendary Boston Celtics coach Red Auerbach and UCLA coach John Wooden.
NBA TV will televise the 2012 Hall of Fame ceremonies at 7:30 PM Eastern.