Grant Hill spoke to the media of Friday for the first time officially as a Los Angeles Clipper. It has been quite an off-season for the Clippers, who have also added free agent Jamal Crawford and traded for former Los Angeles Laker and Sixth Man of the Year Lamar Odom. Hill was impressed with the Clippers’ development last year.
“I had some good conversations with Coach [Vinny Del Negro] and I just was impressed with some of the things that went on last year,” Hill said. “Obviously, Blake [Griffin] and his progression, Chris [Paul] coming on board and Chauncey [Billups] and some of the moves that were made this offseason, it just seemed like a good fit and a team that I felt took a big step last season and hopefully we can take another big step. Obviously, I am excited to be here with the Clippers and am excited about this team and this upcoming season, and really the future going forward.”
Vinny Del Negro is excited to not only have Grant Hill’s influence on the court, but off the court as well.
“It’s an exciting time for the organization and for the team,” Del Negro said. “We’re very excited to add Grant to our mix, to our organization, and to our family. I have known Grant for a long time and I think that you would be hard pressed to find a guy that has handled himself on and off of the court as well as [he] has in his career.”
Del Negro also thinks that it wasn’t so much “selling” the team to Hill, but telling him about the team and why it might be a good fit for him and his family.
“I don’t know if it was a matter of selling Grant on the team,” Del Negro said. “It was a matter of sitting down with him and telling him how we do things in the organization and the direction and the vision and how he can be a valuable part of that. It’s not about selling things, I just talked to Grant and told him how I see him fit, and the family fit for him which is very important, and all of the resources that we have as an organization to make him feel as comfortable as possible.”
Hill will be backing up Caron Butler, but this is probably best for all parties involved; Hill is no longer reliable enough (injury-wise) to count on as a starter, but as a back-up it would be difficult to find a better SF in the NBA.