Grant Hill accomplished several awards throughout his career. He even made the Hall of Fame in 2018. However, many viewed him as one of the best what-if players in NBA history because of the immense potential he failed to maximize due to several reasons. In an interview, he revealed his thoughts on how everything turned out.
Grant Hill on not getting jersey retirement tribute
Based on his resume alone, Hill deserves to be on top of the elite basketball group: Rookie of the Year, Olympic gold medalist, and an NCAA champion twice. He was able to translate his successful career in college to the pros. In the NBA, he made the All-Star games seven times and earned All-NBA Team selection five times.
Among the other things lacking in his trophy case is championship hardware. Winning titles, a common factor often cited by purists in categorizing great players into different tiers, also lacked in the resume of Reggie Miller, Chris Webber, and Karl Malone. They are all in the Hall of Fame with Grant Hill. However, Miller, Webber, and Malone all got their jerseys retired by the Indiana Pacers, Sacramento Kings, and Utah Jazz, respectively, a feat that is missing on the resume of the former Detroit Pistons player despite making an impact in almost every team he played for. He doesn’t think much of it, as he claimed in an interview published by Yahoo! Sports.
“If it doesn’t happen, it still means a lot and it doesn’t change how I feel, the years that I had, and the experiences and relationships throughout the years.”Grant Hill, via Yahoo Sports
That speaks volumes about Grant Hill’s humility in not expecting tributes given by teams even if he deserves it.
Which team should retire Grant Hills’ jersey?
Hill played for the Detroit Pistons, Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns, and the L.A. Clippers. He suited up for the Magic, Pistons, and Suns for at least five years. The small forward had the most impact in Detroit after making the All-Star game five times. He also averaged 21.6 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 6.3 assists in his six seasons as a Piston, which are all career-highs. These numbers prompted experts to say that Hill was the NBA’s LeBron James before LeBron James. He possessed a unique skill set that was rare for his size during his time. Grant Hill even believed he was greater than Michael Jordan at his peak, and he had every reason to think so.
As a member of the Magic team, he averaged 16.4 points, five rebounds, and 3.1 assists, and his numbers further dipped while in Phoenix with 12.1 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 2.5 assists. Injuries derailed his career, and he never made it to the top tier of NBA greats. However, Hill has accepted things as they were.
“I’m at peace with what happened, the ups and the downs. Honestly, I probably wouldn’t change it. I didn’t necessarily get to where I thought I could go. I’m proud of that point of my career, but I’m also proud of what I went through and how I was able to come out on the other end.”Grant Hill, via Yahoo Sports
The devastating injuries he suffered could have ended his career sooner, but he persevered and played the cards he was dealt with. Hill was a consummate professional, never got involved in off-court drama, and never got in trouble with his coaches and teammates.
Among the teams he played for, it was the Pistons that could have retired his jersey. Maybe it will still happen in the future, and Hill can still be proud of his achievements and making the Hall of Fame if it doesn’t. Thousands of other players could only dream of his career, so not getting his jersey retired doesn’t diminish Hill’s impact during his tenure in the NBA.