After 19 long seasons the Los Angeles Clippers have announced that forward Grant Hill will be retiring from the NBA. Here’s what was said via the press release:
“The entire Clippers organization wants to congratulate Grant on an incredible career,” Clippers Vice President of Basketball Operations Gary Sacks said. “For 19 years, Grant has always been the embodiment of class, a true professional and not only one of the best players – but one of the finest individuals I have been around. We were fortunate to have Grant with us last season, and we wish him all the best in his next endeavor.”
Here is video of Hill announcing the news via NBA on TNT’s pre-game show (courtesy of @HPBasketball):
One of the better players since Michael Jordan, Hill was hampered by injuries ruining what could’ve been a promising career. After spending four years at Duke University which featured back-to-back NCAA championships and multiple accolades pointing to him being one of the best players in the nation, Hill was drafted third overall in the 1994 NBA Draft by the Detroit Pistons.
Hill went on to share Rookie of the Year with Jason Kidd while taking the league by storm with his versatility. The next three seasons Hill averaged 20.9 points, 8.8 rebounds and 7.0 assists per game showing his worth as a top three pick, but injuries to the ankle would soon hamper what once looked promising. Grant spent the next eight seasons dealing with the lingering ankle issue playing no more than 50 games in five of those seasons.
After spending six seasons with the Orlando Magic, Hill signed with the Phoenix Suns where his career took sort of a rejuvenation as his health became a problem in the past. In five seasons, Hill played 70-plus games in all but the last season.
The stint with the Los Angeles Clippers was minor. He participated in 29 out of a possible 82 games averaging 3.2 points per game, the lowest of his career.
Grant Hill ends his career with accolades such as being named to the NBA All-Star game seven times, being named to the All-NBA team five times (1st team selection in 1996-97) and winning an gold medal in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics
For those that don’t remember how great a player Hill was in his prime, here’s a tweet to show for it:
29 triple-doubles, all in his first five seasons, and that’s still on the top-10 list.
— Andrew Ungvari (@DrewUnga) June 2, 2013
In 1996-97 Grant Hill avg’d 20+ pts, 9+ rebs, 7+ asts. Only guy to do that in the last 23 years.
— Eric Patten (@EricPatten) June 2, 2013
Considering how great a player Grant Hill was pre-injuries what is your take on Hill as it regards to the Basketball Hall of Fame?