Paul Pierce made a guest appearance at the Knuckleheads podcast, where he talked about several topics related to his basketball career and life in general. The first question that Quentin Richardson and Darius Miles asked Pierce was regarding the first player to bust his ass when he came to the NBA. Pierce immediately said it was none other than Grant Hill. At that time, Hill was in his absolute prime playing for the Detroit Pistons and was one of the most popular players in the NBA.
“That is something I will never forget. For me, it was Grant Hill. I won’t even lie to you, that was the Detroit Pistons Grant Hill. I swear on everything I love, the last five minutes of the game he either scored, I fouled him, or he got an assist for somebody to score. I felt like I lost the game. I think he had like 38, 15 assists, 12 rebounds and I was in the locker room, I felt defeated. I was about to cry.”
Pierce also said Hill was the player he idolized growing up when watching him play for Duke in college. Hill was one of the most versatile players in the league at that time, and people often described him as being LeBron before LeBron. Pierce was fascinated by the way Hill played the game of basketball, where he was able to dominate the entire game on multiple fronts.
“Grant Hill was the player I idolized when I was in high school. So I was ready for this when idols become rivals. But I realized I need to get back in the lab, straight up. He had that first step, and if you don’t give him that body, he will blow by you. So he was like LeBron before LeBron. He had the whole package. Point forward that was athletic, he had that unselfish mentality but could still give you 30, rebounded on a high level.”