Along with being the senior vice president of the Orlando Magic, Pat Williams is also an author who has written a lot of books. And I mean a lot of books. We’re talking Stephen King territory here, where it’s less a hobby or even a career, and more of an addiction. Williams’ Wikipedia entry shows that he’s written 54 books, but I suspect that people have just given up on counting.
(My favorite book: “Rekindled/Keep the Fire Glowing,” written with his wife Jill back in 1985. I’d call it a bit dubious to take advice from them, since the two divorced in 1995.)
He has a new book out called “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Inside Basketball” which features 101 stories from players, coaches and fans that are supposed to be motivational or inspiring. The BOSTON GLOBE has one such “motivational” story from ex-Magic ballboy Bobby Williams about being challenged to a game of H-O-R-S-E (an old version of the popular game G-E-I-C-O) by Larry Bird:
“Larry said to me, ‘Hey kid, can you shoot?’ As my voice cracked, I bravely replied, ‘Of course.’ He said, ‘Let’s play H-O-R-S-E.’ I was numb. It was one thing to rebound for Larry Bird. It’s another to play H-O-R-S-E with him. Larry said, ‘Are you good for five dollars?’ ‘Sure,’ I said. To no one’s surprise, he made his shots and I missed mine. Larry said, ‘Pay up.’ I grinned and shrugged, ‘I don’t have any money.’ Larry gave me a stern look and then just smiled.”
So what’s the motivational lesson here? I guess it’s that if you work hard and become the best at your field, you can use your skills to pick on and intimidate younger, less-skilled people. Which is a pretty accurate life lesson, although not one that I would have suspected coming from the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series.
Of course, who knows if any of the stories in the book are true or not? I don’t think there’s a lot of fact-checking going on. But Williams does have 19 kids to support, so Lord knows he could use the royalties.