Grant Hill announces his retirement
Los Angeles Clippers forward Grant Hill announced his retirement Saturday night on TNT’s pregame show, Inside the NBA.
Hill finished his basketball career with two NCAA championships at Duke, 19 seasons in the NBA with the Detroit Pistons, Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Clippers, seven All-Star appearances, five All-NBA selections, a Rookie of the Year award (shared with Jason Kidd) and an Olympic gold medal.
Hill’s chronic ankle problem kept him from challenging Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan as the greatest player of this generation. According to NBA.com, Hill averaged 21.6 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 6.3 assists in his first six seasons with the Detroit Pistons. In his last season before his ankle problems (1999-2000), Hill averaged 25.8 points, 6.6 rebounds and 5.2 assists. Those are “greatest of his generation” type numbers.
Despite Hill’s short-lived greatness, he was still able to significantly contribute for a contender. After injuries robbed Hill of his Orlando Magic career, Hill revived his career in 2007 when he joined the Phoenix Suns. According to USA Today Sports, during the 2008-2009 season, Hill averaged 12.0 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.3 assists and played in all 82 games for the first and only time in his career. Phoenix is known for their exceptional medical staff and from 2008-2011, he played 243 of a possible 246 games.
Hill’s career came to an end in Los Angeles, where he suffered a bruised knee and only played 29 games for the Clippers.
Hopefully, ESPN Classic or NBA TV shows a few Grant Hill games this week. NBA fans should be reminded of Hill’s amazing athleticism, ball handling skills, passing ability, and defensive prowess.
Hill is a class-act guy and one of the most beloved players of all-time. Despite his short-lived greatness, Hill’s dominance during the mid to late ’90s, career longevity, college career, and Olympic gold medal, should be enough to make Hill a Hall of Famer.