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Grant Hill lays career-crushing ankle problems on Pistons medical staff

Apr 28, 2011, 1:11 PM EDT

Grant Hill #33

Some people just have forgotten or do not realize how good Grant Hill was. How explosive, how devastating on the crossover and attacking the rim. Follow this link to some video highlights.

Then ankle injuries robbed him of that explosiveness. He’s come back and become a solid player with some old-man game knowledge, but he can’t explode the same way.

In a podcast with Fox Sports’ Jason Whitlock (transcribed by Piston Powered) Grant Hill does not sound bitter, but does lay the severity of the problem at the feet of the Detroit medical staff.

“I don’t think anybody really knows I started to have ankle problems at the end of the 1999-2000 season, probably mid-March,” Hill said. “I was still able to go out and play. I still played well, but I was getting a lot of treatment. It was certainly bothering me. As we got closer to the end of the season, my ankle was really getting worse. I was missing practice. To the point where we had a nationally televised game against Philadelphia and I just pulled myself. My ankle was just killing me. We get back, we get an MRI. They say it’s a bone bruise.”

Hill rested the final three games of the regular season and returned to the lineup for the Miami playoff series.

“It’s still bothering me,” Hill said. “I pull myself in the third quarter. They put me on some heavy medication and we had a long break between Game 1 and Game 2. While I was on this medication I felt great. Obviously it was masking the pain. Went out and played in Game 2 and I felt a pop in the second quarter, continued on in the third quarter and couldn’t go on. When we got back, we found out it was broken.

“I (had been) told everything was fine. I even found out that certain team doctors were questioning whether I was really hurt, thinking I was soft or whatever. This was after I had pulled myself from Game 2 against the Heat. At that time, when I found out I had broken my ankle, as crazy as this sounds, I was relieved. I finally had some confirmation, I finally had proof that I’m really not making it up.”

There is a reason that a lot of players today, when the team tells them they do or don’t need surgery, get a second opinion from their own doctor. Team doctors have divided loyalties, and there is no shortage of stories of professional athletes being put back on the court or in the field by a doctor when they never should have been cleared.

The Detroit doctors certainly have another version of this story. But if Hill had gotten a second opinion, his career might have been very different.

  1. goforthanddie - Apr 28, 2011 at 1:25 PM

    Doesn’t much matter what the Detroit doctors say, the proof is out there.

  2. LPad - Apr 28, 2011 at 1:39 PM

    Unfortunately, Hill is poster child of why players can not trust team doctors. Which is why, I was surprised their where people criticizing Kobe for not listening to the team doctors a few days ago. You’re better off seeing your own doctor and following their advice.

  3. chargerdillon - Apr 28, 2011 at 2:30 PM

    Nobody is to blame for your glass ankles but you Grant Hill. It’s not the team doctors faults, it’s really not even your fault. THATS JUST LIFE BUCKO.

    There’s millions of coulda-woulda-shoulda’s in this world. Luck wasnt on your side but you’re probably still a millionaire from the game of basketball despite never winning anything.

    If i were Grant Hill i’d stop crying like a little girl and accept the fact he’s lived a much more luxurious fantasy life than any of us could ever dream.

    With as much hurt as Kobe plays through, you dont ever deserve to taste his ass!

  4. thestudiokida - Apr 28, 2011 at 4:26 PM

    I believe Grant anytime he talks about physical health because of the amazing things the Phoenix Suns staff have done for aging players like Hill, Nash, Shaq etc. He knows how it’s supposed to be done now.

    • rapmusicmademedoit - Apr 28, 2011 at 6:15 PM

      You make it sound like the Suns have a magic potion, get real.

      • thestudiokida - Apr 28, 2011 at 6:31 PM

        28-34 year old Grant Hill played in 200 of 492 games (40.6%)

        35-38 year old Grant Hill played in 313 of 328 games (95.4%)

        That is an incredible difference that is obviously attributable to physical conditioning… something the Phoenix trainers are VERY WELL KNOWN FOR. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar could come back and play well for Phoenix.

      • goforthanddie - Apr 28, 2011 at 8:48 PM

        He makes it sound like he knows what he’s talking about. You should try it some time.

  5. rapmusicmademedoit - Apr 28, 2011 at 6:17 PM

    Grant Hill is a classy guy, I watched him at Duke and the NBA.
    I thought he was coming to NY, TOO BAD.

  6. rapmusicmademedoit - Apr 28, 2011 at 7:10 PM


    dude, relax, all I said was he makes it out like they have a magic potion, do they?

    maybe they can make a magic potion to help win a championship..

    • thestudiokida - Apr 28, 2011 at 8:06 PM

      Too late for Phoenix, but they once came within a Donaghy of advancing to the Conferance Finals and being the favorite to win it all.

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