Scoop B: Grant Hill’s Hall of Fame career showcased skill, manners, cool and questions of ‘what if’

27 Oct 1994: Forward Grant Hill of the Detroit Pistons goes airborne during a game against the Sacramento Kings at The Palace in Auburn Hills, Michigan. The Pistons won the game, 107-91. Getty Images

Grant Hill chatted with Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson on the Scoop B Radio Podcast. Press Play Below To Listen!

Grant Hill was the epitome of cool in the ‘90s.

Clean cut, cool Fila shoes, married Tamia, respected by his peers and is the modern day Ahmad Rashad as the host of NBA Inside Stuff.

What more could you ask for?

Well, a body of work is great! In 19 NBA seasons, the seven-time All-Star was named NBA co-Rookie of the Year in 1995 and was a two-time national championship while at Duke.

More than enough to be tabbed as a Naismith Hall of Famer along with the likes of Jason Kidd, Maurice Cheeks, Ray Allen and Tina Thompson.

What made Hill special?

Two things: his likability and making it fashionable for today’s 6-8 forward to play positions one through four fluidly.

The joy and ease with which LeBron James is playing with this season is everything Grant Hill was already and was becoming.

I remember the first time that I interviewed Grant Hill.

It was April of 1998, during my kid radio days with the Nets and I had a dilemma: My classical band concert was the same night that the Nets played the Detroit Pistons, Hill’s first team at Continental Airlines Arena.

I needed to knock out my interview with Hill and I had to knock out my alto saxophone solo that evening too.

I begged my mom to both, at first, she said, ‘nah.’ But then she thought about it and said: ‘well, Grant Hill, he’s cute. If you interview him then I’ll let you go.‘”

Needless to say, I knocked the interview with Grant Hill out the park and my spring concert solo was flawless.

“I didn’t know that story man,” Grant Hill told me on Scoop B Radio. “But I’m glad your mom came through and allowed us to meet back then.”

As a kid, I was drawn by Hill’s humility and love and knowledge of the game. 

Despite his success, Hill’s career was marred by ankle injuries after a sign-and-trade deal with the Orlando Magic before the 2000-01 season.

It was disappointing that his time with the Orlando Magic wasn’t as promising as many expected it to be.

The Orlando Magic were an intrigue to the NBA in 2000 when Hill and Tracy McGrady created a superteam slated to rule the NBA’s Eastern Conference.

Hill started at point guard, Darrell Armstrong slid to the two-guard with McGrady starting at the 3 and Drew Gooden and John Amaechi rounding out the 4 and 5 positions.

The team was coached by Doc Rivers was slated even had Mike Miller coming off the bench!

Hill played in just four games that first season.

At age 35, Hill moved to the Phoenix Suns, where he played five seasons, before finishing his career with the Los Angeles Clippers at age 40 in 2013.

Hill retired with career averages of 16.7 points, 6 rebounds and 4.1 assists.

In addition to part-ownership of the Atlanta Hawks, Hill does a ton of tv work. He just wrapped up NCAA broadcasting duties with CBS.

“It’s fun,” he told me.

“And you know what? Now when you do a game, you still get that nervous excitement before the game which is normal. It’s almost like when you play in a game, you know your just so ready to do it. You want to do a great job so the tournament is the best sporting event in my opinion. The storylines, the play, year in and year out. I think the whole world is captivated by it.”  



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