Pistons Legends: NBA Superstar Grant Hill
He was so popular that he was voted to All-Star teams even when out for the season with injury. He was cheered for when many of the other players on his Duke teams were disliked by fans. He put up amazing numbers for Detroit, saw his career stop due to injuries at Orlando and then found health and new roles late in his career. Grant Hill was someone who stepped up into the NBA spotlight after Jordan retired, and he still has many fans who are amazed at the numbers he put up.
Grant Hill was an All-Star every season he was a Piston, except the season when the game was cancelled due to the player strike. He was the Co-Rookie of the Year after the Pistons picked him 3rd overall in the 1994 NBA Draft. He was a regular on the second team for All-NBA as a Piston, making the first team in 1996-97. In his first NBA season, Hill averaged 20 points, 6.4 rebounds, 5 assists and 1.2 steals. In his second season, Hill was nearly like Oscar Robertson as he averaged 20 points, 10 rebounds and 7 assists. He was the Detroit small forward, but rebounded like a center and passed like a point guard. Hill was everywhere, with lots of endorsement deals as well as statistics, but Detroit wasn’t winning. He decided to leave, not the first and not the last player to move to Florida, but it didn’t get him closer to a title and actually helped Detroit build their team to win one. During his six seasons in Detroit, Hill averaged 21.6 points, 7.9 rebounds and 6.3 assists.
Orlando had a great plan, lots of salary cap space to spend on Tim Duncan and Grant Hill. They didn’t get Timmy, but added free agents Hill and Tracy McGrady. The Magic turned it into a sign-and-trade, and Detroit ended up with Chucky Atkins and Ben Wallace. Big Ben would start at center for the Pistons when they won a championship. Hill played 4 games for the Magic in 2000-01 due to ankle problems. For 6 seasons with the Magic he only played 200 games.
Hill found health in Arizona, he signed with the Phoenix Suns and stayed there 5 seasons. He even played 82 games in 2008-09, the only season he played in all 82 games. He finished his career in 2012-13 with the Clippers. His career averages for all teams are 16.7 points, 6 rebounds and 4.1 assists. Grant Hill may not have won in the NBA but he was a champion in college and also at the Olympics. If healthy, he may have been one of the all-time greats of the NBA.