Grant Hill recalls how Knicks wanted to sign him in 2000 and 2009


grant-hillGrant Hill’s career didn’t turn out exactly as he wanted, as he was limited by something players are unable to control – injuries.

However, back in 2000, the New York Knicks were reportedly interested in signing Hill.

It was the summer of 2000, and although Hill says he was hurt at the time, Knicks fans can dream about what could have been the start of something special, NY Daily News reported.

Hill  had a chance to sign with the Knicks when the roster included Hill’s boyhood idol, Patrick Ewing, as well as Allan Houston and Latrell Sprewell.

“I just felt like, you want to go to New York, you’ve got to have all of your weapons. I didn’t have all my weapons then,” Hill told the Daily News.

“I flirted with it, seriously thought about it. I never got a chance to play and live in New York, but I still have a chance to live in New York one day. I’m holding out hope,” he said.

Hill was present at the “Great Sports Legends” dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria, along with other NBA legends, Patrick Ewing and Hakeem Olajuwon. The event benefits The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis and The Miami Project.

In the end, Hill worked a sign-and-trade with the Pistons, and wound up in Orlando, where he was hampered by ankle injuries.

The Knicks were persistent enough to inquire about Hill in 2009, but at the time Hill wasn’t the same player he was in his prime, near the end of his career, so he made a decision to stay in Phoenix.

Hill appeared in 1026 NBA games (972 started), averaging 16.7 points, 6 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.2 steals in 33.9 minutes of playing time.

Hill, a 7-time NBA All-Star, was a 1996 Olympic gold medal winner with team USA, he also won two NCAA championships during an All-America career at Duke in the early 1990′s.

When asked about the current Knicks, Hill said it was “premature” to start talking championship, despite Phil Jackson in charge and Carmelo Anthony back in the fold after testing free agency.

“They made a few changes with the personnel, but not enough yet to put them into that conversation,” Hill said, addin that the Knicks are definitely a playoff team.

Jackson brings instant “credibility” to the team, Hill said, but he cautioned fans not to expect too much, too soon.

“Some good will has been generated with the addition of Phil Jackson, Derek Fisher, Melo re-signing,” said Hill. “They’re a team that will take some time to figure out this new system, but if they remain patient, and continue to believe and buy into what Phil’s trying to teach, they have a chance to take a big step this season.”


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