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We Owed You One: The Uphill Struggle of the Philadelphia 76Ers Hardcover – November, 1983

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 220 pages
  • Publisher: Trimark Pub Co; First edition (November 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0914663003
  • ISBN-13: 978-0914663003
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,588,358 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Pat Williams is a basketball Hall-of-Famer, currently serving as co-founder and senior vice president of the NBA's Orlando Magic. As one of America's top motivational speakers, he has addressed thousands of executives in organizations ranging from Fortune 500 companies and national associations to universities and nonprofits. Clients include AllState, American Express, Cisco, Coca-Cola, Disney, Honeywell, IBM, ING, Lockheed Martin, Nike, PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Tyson Foods to name a few. Pat is also the author of over 80 books, his most recent title being COACH WOODEN'S GREATEST SECRET: The power of a lot of little things done well.

Since 1968, he has been in the NBA as general manager for teams in Chicago, Atlanta, Philadelphia--including the 1983 World Champion 76ers--and now the Orlando Magic, which he co-founded in 1987 and helped lead to the NBA finals in 1995 and 2009. Twenty-three of his teams have gone to the NBA playoffs and five have made the NBA finals. In 1996, Pat was named as one of the 50 most influential people in NBA history by a national publication. Pat is also a recipient of the John W. Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Pat has been an integral part of NBA history, including bringing the NBA to Orlando. He has traded Pete Maravich as well as traded for Julius Erving, Moses Malone, and Penny Hardaway, and he has won four NBA draft lotteries, including back-to-back winners in 1992 and 1993. He also drafted Charles Barkley, Shaquille O'Neal, Maurice Cheeks, Andrew Toney and Darryl Dawkins. He signed Billy Cunningham, Chuck Daly, and Matt Guokas to their first professional coaching contracts. Nineteen of his former players have become NBA head coaches, nine have become college head coaches while seven have become assistant NBA coaches.

Additonally, Pat served for seven years in the United States Army, spent seven years in the Philadelphia Phillies organization--two as a minor league catcher and five in the front office--and has also spent three years in the Minnesota Twins organization.

Pat and his wife, Ruth, are the parents of 19 children, including 14 adopted from four nations, ranging in age from 23 to 36. For one year, 16 of his children were all teenagers at the same time. Pat and his family have been featured in Sports Illustrated, Readers Digest, Good Housekeeping, Family Circle, The Wall Street Journal, Focus on the Family, New Man Magazine, plus all of the major television networks, The Maury Povich Show and Dr. Robert Schuller's Hour of Power.

Pat was diagnosed in February of 2011 with Multiple Myeloma. After several rounds of chemo treatments, Pat received a bone marrow transplant where the doctors injected him with almost 5 million of his own stem cells. Pat's recovery from the stem cell transplant has been remarkable and the doctors are extremely pleased. While Multiple Myeloma is incurable the goal is to get the cancer into remission (Pat's personal slogan has been "The Mission is Remission"); Pat's doctors have told him that they are unable to detect any myeloma in his body. Pat has accepted positions on several boards for different cancer groups, including an appointment on the Board of Directors for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. Pat spends many hours each week responding to emails and phone calls of others affected by cancer, offering hope and words of encouragement.

Pat teaches an adult Sunday school class at First Baptist Church of Orlando and hosts three weekly radio shows. In the last 13 years, he has completed 53 marathons--including the Boston Marathon 12 times--and also climbed Mt. Rainier. He is a weightlifter, Civil War buff and serious baseball fan. Every winter he plays in Major League Fantasy Camps and has caught Hall of Famers Bob Feller, Bob Gibson, Fergie Jenkins, Rollie Fingers, Gaylord Perry, Phil Niekro, Tom Seaver and Goose Gossage.

Pat was raised in Wilmington, Delaware, earned his bachelors degree at Wake Forest University, and his master's degree at Indiana University. He is a member of the Wake Forest Sports Hall of Fame after catching for the Deacon baseball team, including the 1962 Atlantic Coast Conference Championship team. He is also a member of the Delaware Sports Hall of Fame.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By George on February 18, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I loved this book growing up. Pat Williams, who later went on to become the GM of the Orlando Magic, details the ascent of the sixers from the "9-73ers" of the early 70's to the 1983 World Champions.
Anyone who appreciates the golden era of the NBA, with all its outrageousnous (see Darryl Dawkins), will enjoy this quick read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Barry Sparks VINE VOICE on March 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Philadelphia Sixers General Manager Pat Williams and Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Bill Lyon chronicle the rise of the Sixers from an inept 9-73 NBA doormat in 1972-1973 to a championship team in 1982-1983.

The Sixers started to turn things around during the 1975-76 season when they acquired ABA star George McGinnis and went 46-36. The Sixers, however, were ousted in the first round of the playoffs.

Even though the club acquired Julius "Dr. J" Erving the following season and posted a 50-32 mark, Portland beat them in the championship round in six games. Some people feel the 1976-1977 Sixers were the best team never to win a championship.

Bitterly disappointed, the front office came up with the slogan "We Owe You One" for the 1977-1978 season. The Sixers would not be able to deliver a championship for five seasons.

From 1976-1977 to 1982-83, the Sixers were defeated three times in the championship series--once by the Trail Blazers and twice by the Lakers. The Sixers were also ousted by Boston in the semifinals after blowing a 3-1 lead.

The acquisition of Moses Malone prior to the 1982-82 season proved to be the Sixers' missing link. The Sixers finally delivered a championship, winning 12 of 13 playoff games, including a four-game sweep of the Lakers in the finals.

The Sixers uphill struggle is a story of three owners, trades (some good and some bad), drafts (some good and some bad), stop-gap measures, frustrations, risks and personalities.

As Pat Williams writes, "One redeeming aspect of sports is that there's always another season." He adds, "The building is never complete, the quest never ends."

You don't have to be a Sixers fan to enjoy this book (although he doesn't hurt). If you're interested in knowing how a championship team is put together, you'll enjoy the insights offered by Pat Williams.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A true story about what it means to move from good to GREAT--the book is a year by year description of rising to the World Champions. The power of this book can lead any person or organization to greatness--it share with us the reader, how things can go from bad to worst, from worst to dead in a matter of minutes or in this case years. But what is fascinating about the Sixers players, front office and fans is that they did not give up--the vision was set in stone and they were going to find away to break the barrier down. By them winning it all tells and shares with us that all thing are possible, it just may take time. WE WANT IT NOW--is a common theme today in 2013, however this lesson 30 years ago can bring new life and new meaning to the philosophy that all great things take time. The author did a superb job bringing in little details, little additives that may have been over looked. His insight on what takes to create a World Champion is very insightful.
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By Chris Montgomery on March 2, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Basketball's most entertaining team ever, from the man who was there.
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