The minority owner of the 76ers from 1996 to 2001 and full-time motivational speaker (his next book: Lead or Get off the Pot!) will open the Pirate Soul museum in Florida this year.
SI: Ahoy, matey?
SI: You just bought a building in Key West for $3 million so you can pay tribute to pirates. Have you gone mad?
Croce: No, I just love pirates! I love their approach to life. No holds barred. Go after the gold. Dead ahead. I have a Jolly Roger tattoo on my hands, and I have a pirate-ship tattoo on my forearm. I didn't do well in history in school, but if you question me on the golden age of piracy from 1690 to 1725, I'd knock your socks off.
SI: What are the highlights of your personal pirate collection?
Croce: I have some outrageous weaponry: Queen Anne pistols, blunderbusses, buccaneer rifles. I also have Captain Thomas Tew's treasure chest and Captain William Kidd's last journal.
SI: Which seafarer do you respect more: Cap'n Crunch or Captain Hook?
Croce: [Laughs.] Blackbeard.
SI: Do you see any parallels between piracy and how you acquired the Sixers?