Grant Hill was the epitome of cool in the ‘90s.
Clean cut, cool Fila shoes, married Tamia, respected by his peers and is the modern day Ahmad Rashad as the host of NBA Inside Stuff.
What more could you ask for? Well, a body of work is great!
In 19 NBA seasons, the seven-time All-Star was named NBA co-Rookie of the Year in 1995 and was a two-time National Champion while at Duke.
That’s more than enough to be tabbed as a Naismith Hall of Famer along with the likes of Jason Kidd, Maurice Cheeks, Ray Allen and Tina Thompson.
What made Hill special?
Two things: his likability and making it fashionable for today’s 6-8 forward to play positions one through four fluidly.
The ease that Los Angeles Lakers All-Star, LeBron James plays with is a lot like prime Grant Hill: a triple double threat while running an offense with a big frame is very point forward-like, right?
“I think the way we approach the game, the versatility, the role, leading the team in points, rebounds, and assists were similar,” Grant Hill told me.
Here’s my million and seven dollar query: Do ya see the comparisons, Mr. Hill?
“We’re big guys handling the ball, point forward, impacting the game in a number of ways,” he said.
“Even though he’s done it for a longer period of time, I do see some similarities.”
Hill’s career was marred by ankle injuries after a sign-and-trade deal with the Orlando Magic before the 2000-01 season.
It was disappointing that his time with the Orlando Magic wasn’t as promising as many expected it to be.
The Orlando Magic were an intrigue of the NBA in 2000 when Hill and Tracy McGrady created a superteam slated to rule the NBA’s Eastern Conference.
Hill started at point guard, Darrell Armstrong slid to the two-guard with McGrady starting at the 3 and Drew Gooden and John Amaechi rounding out the 4 and 5 positions.
The team was coached by Doc Rivers was slated even had Mike Miller coming off the bench!
Hill played in just four games that first season.
At age 35, Hill moved to the Phoenix Suns, where he played five seasons, before finishing his career with the Los Angeles Clippers at age 40 in 2013.
Hill retired with career averages of 16.7 points, 6 rebounds and 4.1 assists.
In addition to part-ownership of the Atlanta Hawks, Hill does a ton of tv work. Currently he’s doing analyst work with the NCAA Tournament.
Meanwhile back at the ranch: We were discussing the LeBron James/Grant Hill comparisons.
Hill says LeBron admires his game. “He told me he watched and took from my game,” Hill told me.
“And I’m grateful to hear that coming from one of the best to ever do it.”