Grant Hill finally retires after 19 NBA seasons

Grant Hill finally retires after 19 NBA seasons
June 1, 2013, 8:45 pm
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Grant Hill, who blossomed at South Lakes High School in Reston, Va., led Duke to consecutive national championships, won an Olympic gold medal in 1996 and became a seven-time NBA All-Star, retired after 19 seasons Saturday.

Hill, 40, played sparingly with the Los Angeles Clippers, averaging career lows of 3.2 points, 1.7 rebounds and 0.9 assists in 15.1 minutes.

Hill was drafted third overall by the Detroit Pistons in 1994 and was named co-Rookie of the Year with Jason Kidd.

His career took a turn for the worse after he left Detroit for the Orlando Magic in 2000. Hill played through a foot injury in the playoffs that would ruin the next several years of his career.

Hill only played 200 games for the Magic -- he developed a life-threatening MRSA infection in 2003 after a surgery -- but had a rebirth in his next five seasons with the Phoenix Suns. Hill, who’d averaged a career-high 25.8 points, 6.6 rebounds and 5.2 steals in 1999-2000, would become a defensive specialist.

At 6-8 and 225 pounds, he was tall, long, strong and athletic enough to defend four positions. When with Phoenix, Hill was noted for being a thorn in the side of Blake Griffin, a physical, high-flying power forward who would become his teammate in Los Angeles.

In one particular game, Griffin had 18 points and nine rebounds in the first half. Hill held him to no field goals and just two rebounds in the third quarter. Griffin only had two field goals in the fourth and tallied five second-half fouls as he was disqualified.

Hill had several procedures on his right knee, the last of which appeared to be career-ending, a person close to him told CSN Washington at the time. Hill, who told me it was a "semi-serious procedure," left the Suns as a free agent and made one final run but only appeared in 29 games with the Clippers.

It was the only time in his career that he didn’t average double-figures scoring.

The closest Hill would get to an NBA championship was in the 2009-10 season when Phoenix fell in six games to the eventual champion Los Angeles Lakers in six games. 

In recent years Hill has turned his attention to film-making. He was executive producer of The Coach Buehler Story in 2010 and Duke 91 & 92: Back to Back.