Pat Garrity is not around Orlando much these days. He is not around the NBA much a whole lot actually. There were reports he was in Chicago for the NBA Draft Combine and that he wants to get into an NBA front office. For now, Garrity is just that really tall guy working for an investment firm in Connecticut living a life that is “not as exciting as standing in the corner for open 3s.”
He was as surprised as anyone else when the Magic called him for a Legends Night at Amway Center this year. Garrity, who played nine seasons in Orlando, was one of the team’s best shooters of all time. He hit numerous big shots and made a living as one of the first stretch-4s to make it into the NBA.
“My first reaction was are you sure you have the right number,” Garrity joked as he met the media back in December. “It meant a great deal. Thinking back, basketball was such a big part of my life since I was a kid. The one place that I was at the longest in my experience as a basketball player was in Orlando. We ran through the whole spectrum of things you can go through as a team in my nine years here. To be called back as one of the guys celebrating an anniversary like this, it’s just I couldn’t have imagined when I was traded here that I would be a guy like that at the end of my career.”
Here was a guy that did not look like a basketball at first blush, aside from his height. Even when he was on the floor, he was a little unassuming, his supreme marksmanship keeping him in the league a long, long time.
Garrity truly was with Magic through a ton of ups and downs. He joined the team as part of the Anfernee Hardaway trade from the Phoenix Suns. It was not clear how long he would stay with the Magic, but he never seemed to leave. He was a great presence in the community and valued for his professionalism as much as his shot. A torn ACL in the 2004 season derailed his career. A torn ACL in 2007 virtually ended his career.
Garrity though was always going to do something beyond basketball. He got his MBA at Duke and now travels the country for his work.
Yet, basketball calls him back. Either through the lessons it taught him or the actual game itself.
“It’s a little bit different,” Garrity said of his post-basketball life. “I think the one similarity is when you are starting out in a new career at my age after doing something previously, you are going up against people who have done it professionally for a long time. You have to set your ego aside when you have failures.
“That’s probably the one parralel is you’re not going to be very good when you start. Everything is kind of you learn from mistakes and you try to improve that way. Some days will be good and some are bad when you’re trying something new and trying to transition. The parallel there is like when you are going through a season because you have ups and downs. That’s the one rule everyone learns when they’re a rookie is that you don’t get too high and too low because 82 games is a really long season.”
It seems like the same messages of growth and patience that come with being new to a field apply outside of basketball too. There was no doubt though that Garrity would find success once his career ended.
He is not around Orlando a whole lot anymore. He had a brief stint as a guest analyst for Fox Sports Florida broadcasts. But is working in the business world. Maybe basketball is in his future, maybe it isn’t.
Garrity though continues to show there is a very successful life beyond basketball.