Grant Hill Announces Retirement After 19 Years in the NBA June 02, 2013 10:39
Yesterday, the LA Clippers announced that Grant Hill would be retiring from the NBA. The veteran has seen 19 seasons in the NBA, albeit through a career that has been plagued with injuries.
Grant was the 3rd pick in the first round of the 1994 NBA draft, and was the NBA co-Rookie of the Year in 1995 (Jason Kidd was the other half of that award). Throughout his career in the NBA he was a 7-time All-Star, selected to the All-NBA Team 5 times and won the NBA Sportsmanship Award 3 times.
In 1995, Hill became the first ever Rookie to lead the voting for the NBA All-Star game. He had 1,289,585 votes, which put him out ahead of league favourite, Shaquille O'Neal. In 1996, he led the All-Star voting again, knocking Michael Jordan off the top-spot.
Hill played for the Detroit Pistons, Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns and the LA Clippers during his career, adding a great deal to each team despite problems with his health. In 2000, while playing for the Pistons, Grant sprained his ankle 7 days before the playoffs, but he continued to play until the first round of the playoffs, against Miami. He was eventually forced to leave in game 2, when the ankle got a great deal worse.
Hill left the Pistons to play for the Orlando Magic the following season, where his troublesome ankle limited him to very few games with the team. He played 4 games the first season, 14 games in the second season, and 29 games in the third season. He was forced to sit out the entire fourth season with the Magic.
After that season, Hill underwent surgery to break his left ankle, and realign it with his leg. After the operation, Hill became extremely ill having contracting MRSA at the hospital, and had to be on intravenous antibiotics for 6 months.
Hill came back for the Magic in 2004, but only managed to play 67 games, although that was more than all previous seasons with the Magic combined.
In 2007, Hill joined the Phoenix Suns, where he would start to get back to playing more consistent basketball. In the 2007-08 season, he played 70 games. Something that he hadn't done since the Pistons. Then, in the 2008-09 season, Hill played in all 82 games of the season - a career first for him.
In 2012, Hill made the move to the LA Clippers, and during the pre-season, he suffered a bruised bone in the right knee. That kept him out for the first few months of the season, finally making his LA debut in January 2013 against his old team, the Orlando Magic.
Upon the announcement of Hill's retirement, NBA Commissioner, David Stern said; ''Grant was an outstanding player and embodied the ideals of dedication and perseverance in overcoming injury and adversity during his distinguished NBA career. He was always the consummate teammate and professional. We wish Grant and his family our very best and, hope he will continue to contribute to the growth of the league and the sport for years to come.''