Grant Hill Retires After 19 NBA Seasons
The Los Angeles Clippers, with whom Hill played sparingly during the 2012-13 season, also released a statement on Saturday that the veteran small forward will retire after 19 seasons in the league.
In the team's statement, vice president of basketball operations Gary Sacks praised Hill's professionalism and his contributions to the franchise:
The entire Clippers organization wants to congratulate Grant on an incredible career. 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.
The 40-year-old Hill was a seven-time All-Star, despite frequently being plagued by injuries, and he began his career with the Detroit Pistons as the No. 3 overall pick in the 1994 NBA draft.
Michael Lee of the Washington Post linked to a video showing how sensational Hill was prior to the setbacks that stymied his promising career:
The youngsters don't remember that pre-ankle surgery Grant Hill in DET. He would Dunk On You: http://t.co/0968muzpM1— Michael Lee (@MrMichaelLee) June 2, 2013
Is Grant Hill a Hall of Famer?
Hill also played for the Orlando Magic and Phoenix Suns thereafter. In Orlando, he played a mere 47 games in his first three seasons, but he was effective when healthy. Long-term ankle problems, which USA Today's Jeff Zillgitt alludes to, essentially prevented Hill from reaching his full potential.
When Hill went to the Suns to start the 2007-08 campaign, though, he experienced somewhat of a resurgence. After appearing in 70 games that first year, he played at least 80 games in three consecutive seasons.
Just heard @realgranthill33 announced his retirement. I've been privileged to know him & his family a long time. U won't find a classier guy— Seth Davis (@SethDavisHoops) June 2, 2013
Remember that All-Interview Team discussion? Grant Hill's an All-Interview Team all-timer as well as an on-court warrior. Honor to cover him— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 2, 2013
Though he only appeared in 29 games for the Clippers and saw just 15.1 minutes of action per game, Hill finished his career with averages of 16.7 points, 6.0 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.2 steals.
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