Grant Hill announced earlier on Saturday that he will officially hang up the sneakers at age 40. Hill came into the NBA after being drafted third overall by the Detroit Pistons in the 1994 NBA draft, and immediately became one of the top players in the league. When Hill came into the league he was a do-it-all player. He was a solid rebounder, passer, scorer, and defender who played the NBA game like he’s been doing it for decades.
Upon his rookie season, Grant Hill and Jason Kidd shared rookie of the year honors together as it marked just the second time in NBA history that there were co-rookies of the year. During his rookie season Grant Hill averaged 19.9 points, 6.4 rebounds, 5 assists, and 1.8 steals while shooting 47.7% from the field.
“The last four or five years I would take about a month (after the season to decide to continue) and within a month, if I still wanted to do it, I would. Putting it simply, after a month, I just realized I didn’t want to play anymore,” Hill told USA TODAY Sports on Saturday.
Unfortunately for Hill, his extraordinary talent would ultimately be suppressed by his multiple injuries. After missing just 25 games throughout his first six years with the Pistons, Hill would go on to miss 292 games throughout the following six seasons with the Orlando Magic.
Grant Hill much like many other aging veterans such as Steve Nash and Shaquile O’Neal, would discover the fountain of youth that’s hidden somewhere in the depths of the U.S Airways center. When Hill entered the twlight of his career as Hill missed just 15 games throughout his first four seasons with the Suns (2007-2011) before missing 17 games during his final season with the Suns (2011-2012).
“I’m just glad I was able to keep working,” Hill said in regards his injuries. “When doctors told me I was done, I was able to get another 10 years. I’m very grateful for that.”
As Hill retires, his family still resides in Phoenix and it’s a very realistic possibility that he joins the Suns front office for next season. Suns president of basketball operations Lon Babby has made it clear to the public that he’s open to having Hill working in the Suns front office or on the coaching staff.
Grant Hill played his career as a smart, professional, and humble player. Those are unteachable qualities that Hill can provide for Suns players both on and off the court if the Suns are able to convince Hill to work for them.
Grant was a very popular player during his time in Phoenix because of what he brought to the team both on and off the court, and to have him back as part of the organization would be a great thing for the Phoenix Suns franchise as well as the city of Phoenix.
As far as Hill’s retirement, Grant Hill closed the book on what was an excellent 18-year career as he made seven all-star teams, made NBA all-first team in 1997, made NBA all second team four times, won rookie of the year, and not mention the two NCAA championships he won at Duke. Best of luck Grant! The NBA hardwood will miss you.