"I think someone's trying to kill me" - Rick Macci recalls being pranked by Richard Williams

Rick Macci (insert), Richard Williams with daughters Venus and Serena Williams
Rick Macci (insert), Richard Williams with daughters Venus and Serena Williams

The movie "King Richard" has led to a renewed interest in Richard Williams, the father of Serena and Venus Williams. Rick Macci, who coached the sisters during the start of their careers and knew them before they became famous, has a lot of stories to tell.

One such incident, which Macci said he wished was included in the movie, involved Richard Williams prank-calling him in the middle of the night.

"Well from Richard I got many phone calls but the best one ever, I wish this would've been in the movie, because people could see maybe his stubbornness in the movie and just the commitment between me, him and the family how we're all together," Macci said.

The Williams family had just moved from their modest home in Compton to a luxurious mansion in Florida, which was a big change for the family. Around two weeks into their stay, Macci received a call from a panicked Richard Williams, who said someone was trying to kill him.

"But this was about two weeks into the relationship when they moved to Grenelefe, and remember they went from Compton to a five star resort, and they went from that little house they lived in to a million dollar house," the 67-year-old said. "So they went from the outhouse to the white house. I mean it went from boom to boom."
"So it's like 11 o'clock at night and Richard calls me up and he goes, 'Rick, you got to get over here, someone's trying to kill me'. And I go 'Richard it's 11 o'clock at night,' he just got me out of bed, he goes like he didn't even hear what I said, he was 'Rick, you got to get over here someone's trying to kill me'," the coach explained.

Macci assured Williams that it was probably just security driving around, but he was still very afraid and kept pleading with the coach to come over.

"I said 'Richard it's probably security. You're just not used to people driving'. 'Because, no, they're parked in front of my house. You got to get over here I think someone's trying to kill me'. Just like kind of acted like he was freaked out and I said, 'Wait a minute, if I come over they're going to want to kill me too'," Macci said.

Ultimately, Macci relented and agreed to go over, after which Williams ended the charade. He just wanted to see how much the new coach cared about his family.

"He starts laughing and stuff like that so, he goes, 'Rick you got to get over here I'm serious someone's trying to kill me'. I go 'Richard, okay, let me get dressed, I'll be over in 15 minutes'. So he goes, 'Rick Rick Rick, I'm just kidding you, I just wanted to see how much you cared about our family. I'll see you in the morning for practice'," Macci said.

Richard Williams and Rick Macci remain close friends even today

Rick Macci (l), Venus Williams (middle) and Richard Williams
Rick Macci (l), Venus Williams (middle) and Richard Williams

Rick Macci revealed that Richard Williams was his "best friend" and that they bonded from the moment they met. The infamous phone call was just a way to "jerk his chain a little bit."

"Now this was Richard Williams and you could actually see in the movie, he was my best friend, even early on, we bonded. But he was taking the temperature and that probably look it to another level," the coach said. "How he just said I'm going to call this guy up and jerk his chain a little bit but I was willing to get dressed to go over there even though I knew it wasn't like someone trying to kill him. But that's the famous phone call from Richard early on."

The duo have remained close over the years and even hung out together in December last year.

"King Richard πŸ‘‘ One of the best fathers and my best friend. It was amazing catching up.. it’s like we never missed a beat! ❀️‍πŸ”₯ LETS GO!!!"

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Edited by Nihal Taraporvala
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