When I think about Grant Hill I don't think of the journeyman forward in his late thirties who plays for the phoenix suns, who is kind of OK. When I think of Grant Hill I think of the young triple double machine who body slammed Alonzo Mourning and was in all of the Sprite and Fila commercials back in the mid 90s.
Grant Hill is one of my favorite NBA players of all time. He is also one of the greatest NBA tragedies of all time. In the Mid 90s when Michael (Air) Jordan was getting long in the tooth speculators and commentators began asking who would be the heir to the throne. You had the unfortunate ones who folded under the pressure of Jordan comparisons i.e. Harold (Baby Jordan) Miner. Who faded into obscurity. You had some flashy kid named after a piece of steak out in L.A. And then there was this clean cut nice guy straight out of America's University AKA Duke. This was Grant Hill
Grant Hill did absolutely whatever he wanted on the court. If he needed to score, he would go out and get you 30 without wrinkling his uniform. Oh, you think the teem needs to be involved more? Expect about 8-12 assists. Your team is getting beat on the boards? Well how bout a small forward who can grab rebounds like one of those big rugged centers. I know this sounds familiar. That Labron kid out in Cleveland is putting up some incredible numbers. But the very under appreciated Grant Hill was doing this when "King James" was struggling with vocabulary words.
Grant Hill had the unfortunate fate of playing year after year with a roster that would consist of the NBA's bottom dwellers, and over-the-hill hoopers. On many nights it felt like Grant Hill alone against the other team's 12 man roster, and they were spotted 15.
Grant Hill's last year with the Detroit Pistons he had a nasty ankle sprain. The following year he signed a free agent contract with the Orlando Magic. Even as a devoted Pistons fan I was happy for Grant. It felt like my older brother was going to college. I would be sad because he wasn't around all the time but I know it would be for the best so I was happy for him.
Well it didn't turn out that way. That ankle sprain he suffered in Detroit haunted him for the next four years and would sideline him for most of it. It was a sad time for a Grant Hill fan, and for the NBA as a whole. One of its brightest talents couldn't compete.
After countless surgeries and rehabs Grant Hill finally came back. He had a successful season with the Orlando Magic and then signed as a free agent with the high scoring Phoenix Suns whom he now plays with. Now he is still a very effective player but a complete shell of his old self. As a fan of Grant Hill I think a fitting end to his career which is quickly approaching would be a championship. Not really even for the skills but for all of the years lost to injury.