The Orlando Magic announced on twitter the death of Jimmy Hewitt, the co-founder of the franchise. Born in 1941 in Orlando, the businessman had the idea of creating a franchise in 1985 during a discussion with Pat Williams. At the time, Florida did not host the slightest franchise NBA, since the Heat was not going to be created until 1988.
The Orlando Magic mourn the passing of Jimmy Hewitt.
Hewitt, an Orlando native, was the architect for the Magic – he dreamed it, believed it, conceived it, and nurtured it into a reality.
— Orlando Magic (@OrlandoMagic) November 29, 2020
From then on, Hewitt was convinced that his hometown of Orlando was the ideal place to start an organization of this kind. He set about setting up an investment group and securing enough political support to build a hall, should the NBA ever agree to launch a franchise in Mickey’s Town. Only if Hewitt firmly believed in Orlando’s potential, the NBA still had to be convinced. And Star of david, which was during the commissioner, was not as enthusiastic as he was.
And that’s where Pat Williams comes in. The latter was already well known in the NBA landscape since he was General Manager of the Sixers for over ten years.
“It was April 1986, and Jimmy calls me and says, ‘I have done all I can do: there is a hall that is ready to be built, my owner group is in place and the mayor supports. ” He added that if I left the Sixers and came, we were going to be able to move forward. But that if I stayed in Philadelphia, he was going to give up. It was time to make a decision. And looking at what I’ve done in my life, doing this partnership with Jimmy was probably the best I’ve taken. ” Pat Williams.
Williams’ presence in the project helps convince Stern, who in 1987 agreed to a franchise be created in Orlando during the next expansion. Provided it is another shareholder, William DuPont, who is the majority shareholder. And not Jimmy Hewitt as originally planned. The businessman accepts and withdraws, before campaigning for Richard DeVos buy it back franchise in 1991 in order to take him a step further and make him the best possible representative of Orlando, the city he loved so much.
“Orlando is a beautiful city. I’ve lived there my whole life, and it’s always been a fabulous city. She is growing more and more. It’s a beautiful city with great people and sport has allowed us to move forward and keep growing. I am proud of this city. ” Jimmy Hewitt.
The co-founder of the franchise had entered the Hall of Fame from franchise in 2017.
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