Denton: Magic Honor Pat Garrity

By John Denton
Dec. 27, 2013

ORLANDO – As part of the franchise’s celebration of their 25th anniversary season, the Magic honored former sweet-shooting forward Pat Garrity on Friday night. Garrity played for the Magic from 1999-2008, appearing in the fourth-most regular-season games (513) in franchise history. During his time with the Magic, Garrity averaged 7.4 points and 2.7 rebounds a game. He was a 39.8 percent shooter from 3-point range and he’s seventh in Magic history with 624 made 3s.

``I was just speaking with Dante Marchitelli and doing the (Magic Drive Time) radio show and he asked me what my first reaction and I said, `My first reaction was, Are you sure that you have the right number?’’’ Garrity joked. ``In all seriousness, it means a big deal. Basketball was always such a big part of my life up until I retired in 2008, and the one place that I was at the longest was in Orlando. We ran the whole spectrum of things that you can go through in my nine years here with the Magic. So to be called back as one of the guys celebrating an anniversary like this, it’s just … I couldn’t imagine when I was traded here that I would be a guy like this that they would choose something like this for. I’m very honored.’’

Garrity started preparing for a business career prior to his retirement and ultimately got his MBA from Duke University. He now works for an investment firm in Westport, Conn., dealing primarily with institutional investors, pension funds and endowments. ``It’s not quite as exciting as standing in the corner for open threes,’’ cracked Garrity, who said he hasn’t really missed playing professional basketball.

Like many Magic fans, Garrity’s favorite Magic team was the famed ``Heart and Hustle’’ squad from 1999-00 that surprisingly finished 41-41 and missed the playoffs by just one win.

``The thing that I remember about that team was that there were low expectations externally of what we could do. In one of the practices (former Magic coach) Doc (Rivers) opened up the Sports Illustrated and it had us threatening the all-time loss record in NBA history,’’ Garrity recalled. ``That was the external expectations contrasted with the bar set internally for us as a team. If we lost a certain number of games in a row it was unacceptable. … I remember it being a rebuilding season, but no one on the team or Doc ever approached it that way.’’

Garrity was also a standout off the basketball court. He won the Rich and Helen DeVos Community Enrichment Award in 2003-04. Magic coach Jacque Vaughn was a teammate of Garrity’s and he said he had the kind of professionalism and consistent approach that coaches look for in players.

``You could count on Pat every single game,’’ said Vaughn, a teammate of Garrity’s in Orlando for one season. ``You talk about consistency – he was a guy who showed up to practice, showed up to play and was great with his teammates. I had a lot of fun with Pat, whether it was on the bus, on the plane or just being around him. He was just a genuinely good guy.’’