Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The end has come for a player that could've went down in history as one of the greatest that ever did it. Grant Hill had possibilities. When he first came in to the NBA, his possibilities were endless. Hill was an amazing athlete, who proved to be a top contender coming out of Duke. He signed with the Detroit Pistons, and took Rookie of the Year honors with Jason Kidd (ironically, they both retired at the same damn time) in 1994-1995 season. Grant was at the top of his game, and Fila was his choice for sneaker endorsement at that time. Grant Hill was dropping 20 points per game, and even beat Michael Jordan to take top honors in the 1996 All-Star Game. The following year Grant stepped his game up even further, scoring 25 points per game. This was the start of something great. So it seemed.
After 6 seasons with the Pistons, Grant Hill was traded to the Orlando Magic, and played with Tracy McGrady and a young Mike Miller (who now plays with Miami). When Hill played for the Magic, it was not a good look for him. Hill's injuries plagued him from becoming a legend. He also switched sneaker companies, opting to ride with Adidas. From 2001 through 2004, Hill fell in a slump due to his injuries. But never one to give up, Hill fought through his pain in the 2005 season, back scoring 19.5 points per game and joining the All-Star Team on the East once again. The following season, the injuries came back, and Hill would be sidelined for most of the season. 
It wasn't until 2007, when Grant signed with the Phoenix Suns, that he became "that" player again. He wasn't scoring as much as he once was, but he adapted to Mike D'Antoni's up-tempo style of play, scoring 13 points per game, and playing almost a full season. Hill also switched his sneaker company to Nike, which gave Hill a Hyperdunk PE. 
Hill stayed with the Suns until 2012, when he signed with the Clippers. Hill was initially going to sign with the Lakers, following in the footsteps of his former teammate Steve Nash. I think for Hill, the notion of playing with a powerful Guard like Chris Paul enticed the 7x All-Star to go to the Clippers. The injuries came once again, and Hill sat out until January 12, 2013 when he made his Clippers debut against his former squad, the Orlando Magic. Grant Hill retired after 19 seasons, and he will be remembered as a good player. He definitely left his mark on the sneaker culture with the Grant Hill II's, which was re-released last year. Magic Johnson was quoted as saying if it wasn't for his injuries, Grant Hill could've been the next Michael Jordan. Unfortunately, we'll never know. But we salute Grant Hill for bringing his style of play to the NBA, and a few memorable kicks in the process.  Cali "O" #TeamKickGame #GrantHill #WhatCouldveBeen

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