NBA great Grant Hill retires, says doesn’t want to play anymore


hill-1Another great player, one of the few from the old-schoolers, Grant Hill yesterday announced that he retires from NBA.

While Hill never reached his full potential because of debilitating injuries, he definitely made an impact during his 19 seasons in the NBA.

Hill announced his retirement Saturday on TNT moments before the start of Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals between the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers.

Hill learned the ropes as a rookie from Joe Dumars in Detroit, then moved on to Orlando Magic to play alongside Tracy McGrady. After Orlando, Hill went to Phoenix, and lastly to LA Clippers. A truly gifted player, Hill could do it all – score, handle the ball, rebound and what’s most important – to be a leader.

“The last four or five years I would take about a month (after the season to decide to continue) and within a month, if I still wanted to do it, I would. Putting it simply, after a month, I just realized I didn’t want to play anymore,” Hill told USA TODAY Sports on Saturday.

“There’s a lot of reasons for that, but you know when you know. It just felt right. I’m excited and looking forward to moving on and doing other things.

“I worked hard. I put a lot into it, and I enjoyed every minute of it. But now is the time to move on. I feel great physically. It’s important to go out feeling good, particularly considering all the setbacks I had health-wise throughout my career.”

“I’m just glad I was able to keep working,” Hill said of his injuries. “When doctors told me I was done, I was able to get another 10 years. I’m very grateful for that.”

Still, Hill found ways to be productive even as he realized he could no longer play as he once did.

With his size (6-8, 225) and versatile skills, Hill was chosen by the Detroit Pistons in the 1994 NBA draft. Hill was taken after Glenn Robinson (who played from 1994 to 2005) and Jason Kidd, 40, who hinted this week he planned on returning to the New York Knicks for another season.

Hill, the son of former Dallas Cowboys running back Calvin Hill and businesswoman Janet Hill, was named co-rookie of the year, with Kidd, for the 1994-95 season, averaging 19.9 points, 6.4 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 1.8 steals.

He maintained similar numbers in his six seasons with the Pistons, including 21.4 points, 9.0 rebounds and 7.3 assists in 1996-97. He was named first-team All-NBA for the first and only time in his career that season.

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 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.

A final achievement for Hill and his career would be an induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. He sure as hell deserved it. And another thing that Hill deserves as well – this is to the owners of the Detroit Pistons – to get his jersey retired.

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