Magic co-founder and senior VP Williams retiring

Senior VP Pat Williams is retiring from the Magic, the team has announced.

The man who drafted Charles Barkley is retiring from basketball.

That man’s name is Pat Williams and he is among those who helped get the Magic off the ground as an expansion franchise. Williams, 79, is leaving the game as the Magic’s senior VP, a position he has held since 1996.

Williams played minor-league baseball, primarily as a catcher, before finding work in the NBA. He was the GM of the Philadelphia 76ers when they drafted Barkley in 1984. Williams has also spent time as GM of the Atlanta Hawks and Chicago Bulls.

He is a distance runner, cancer survivor and has been a foster parent to nearly 20 children. Along with all that, Williams has been a motivational speaker and has written multiple books, including several on basketball.

Along with Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal, Maurice Cheeks and Andrew Toney were among the notable players drafted by Williams.