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Grant Hill says what Nash did like going from Duke to North Carolina

Sep 19, 2012, 11:13 AM EDT

steve nash-grant hill

Grant Hill left Phoenix for Los Angeles, but nobody in the Valley of the Sun really holds that against him because he’s going to the Clippers and, while they certainly will be good, nobody really hates them yet. Everyone kind of shrugs at that move west.

Steve Nash going from the Suns to the hated Lakers… that’s different.

Here is what Hill said about the move on KGME sports radio in Phoenix, as transcribed by Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic (hat tip to SLAM).

“That’s like transferring from Duke and going to Carolina.”

It’s going to be interesting to see the reaction Suns fans give Nash when he returns to Phoenix in a Lakers jersey. It’s not going to have the venom that Dwight Howard will get upon his return to Orlando, mostly because Nash handled his exit with class and most Suns fans accepted the idea of him spending the last couple years of his career chasing a ring.

But with the Lakers? That changes the vibe. Suns fans hate the Lakers. (Really, the fans of 29 teams hate the Lakers.)

I expect a more mixed reaction, because that was the one place Nash could go that it wouldn’t sit well in Phoenix.

  1. cakemixa - Sep 19, 2012 at 11:17 AM

    Like Grant Hill wouldn’t have gone on to the Lakers if they had wanted him.

    • bandanamac - Sep 19, 2012 at 11:29 AM

      Exactly, and it was certainly in the mix before they signed Jamison. So what he did is like the pot calling the kettle black.

  2. mrchrispeterson - Sep 19, 2012 at 11:25 AM

    He’s right, Duke is equally as crappy as Phoenix, and North Carolina is as equally dominant as the Lakers! Perfect analogy!

  3. mogogo1 - Sep 19, 2012 at 11:40 AM

    I love Grant Hill, but not a great analogy. Duke and Carolina are huge rivals because they’re on a par with each other. Phoenix has never gotten over the hump and is basically Wake Forest to the Lakers Duke/Carolina. You can also find Duke and Carolina fans wherever you go, just like there are Lakers fans everywhere. But when’s the last time you ran into a rabid Suns fan outside Phoenix?

  4. lucaslatronico - Sep 19, 2012 at 11:50 AM

    I am a Bulls fan and i dont hate the Lakers!

    • cosanostra71 - Sep 19, 2012 at 1:02 PM

      right on! Lakers fan here, Rose is one of my favorite players. I root for the Bulls when they aren’t playing the Lakers!

  5. paleihe - Sep 19, 2012 at 12:00 PM

    “It’s going to be interesting to see the reaction Suns fans give Nash when he returns to Phoenix in a Lakers jersey.”

    No, it won’t be interesting. They’re going to cheer their asses off, as they should. He played out his contract and the Suns didn’t want to give him a new one.

  6. michaeljordanseviltwin - Sep 19, 2012 at 12:30 PM

    This drama is all so subjective. If Lou Amundson leaves the Suns to join the Spurs nobody gives a crap because he’s Lou Amundson. Since we’re talking about Steve Nash, a star player still performing at an elite level, it’s a big deal. The most important thing is what you said, he handled it with class.

    PS Remember how nobody really cared about Shaq joining the Celtics? Again, it’s because he was no longer an elite player. LeBron has farts that get more coverage.

  7. paulhargis53 - Sep 19, 2012 at 1:27 PM

    A few things here.

    The lakers WERE after him, he chose not to play there, Nash was recruiting him. So, yeah, he can say that and not be hypocritical. He chose the Clippers.

    Secondly, I don’t hate the Lakers, I detest the over the top, know nothing fans.( that’s not all Lakers fans.) There is just an inordinate amount of them on this site.

    • bozosforall - Sep 19, 2012 at 8:31 PM

      Not nearly as many know-nothing fans as those who root for the New England-area teams. Pudhummer53 being one of the most ignorant of them all. GFY, pudhummer53.

    • jimeejohnson - Sep 22, 2012 at 12:49 PM

      The two biggest LOSERS have finally gotten together. It was inevitable: bad energy attracts bad energy. Bozosforall and paulfargis53: the two biggest dicks of ALL TIME!

  8. passerby23 - Sep 19, 2012 at 1:30 PM

    Much ado about nothing. They are going cheer Nash in Phoenix. It was time for the franchise to move on and he saw an opportunity in LA. Nash is too classy and the move acceptable for people to boo him.

  9. Mr. Wright 212 - Sep 19, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    And what Grant Hill did was like leaving Duke to go to Michigan.

  10. matt20hew - Sep 19, 2012 at 1:38 PM

    Reblogged this on Today's News.

  11. paulhargis53 - Sep 19, 2012 at 2:03 PM

    Mr wright, that makes sense, just not the way you are inferring. Michigan wasn’t a Duke rival. They played a few games in the tourney against each other.

    You should have used Wake Forest, or NC St. to make your point.
    But then its typical of a Lakers fan to try to belittle a team they are fearful of.

    The lakers very wellay be the 2nd best team in town this year….

    • limonadamas - Sep 19, 2012 at 4:15 PM

      Umm… I’m pretty sure Mr. Wright 212 (as in the area code) is a NYK fan, not a Laker fan.

    • bozosforall - Sep 19, 2012 at 8:35 PM

      Both LA teams still being better than the overrated Boston Puh C’s.

    • mvp32 - Sep 20, 2012 at 12:26 PM

      Lakers’ fans heard that they would be the 2nd team in town, I guess there still some out there hoping this will become true; on dreaming. And it feels good to know that things are back to normal, every hater wasting time hoping and wishing the lakers fail, but they won’t even talk about which team they are fans of. Hill is just upset at the fact that he will retire without getting a ring and Nash will finally get his!

    • mvp32 - Sep 20, 2012 at 12:29 PM

      Last year, Lakers’ fans heard that they would be the 2nd team in town, I guess there still some out there hoping this will be true; keep on dreaming. It feels good to know that things are back to normal, every hater wasting time hoping and wishing the lakers fail, but they won’t even talk about which team they are fans of. Hill is just upset at the fact that he will retire without getting a ring and Nash will finally get his!

  12. katra2logic - Sep 19, 2012 at 4:12 PM

    Pretty silly comment when most players in the NBA have spent 0, 1 or 2 years in college but may spend 15+ years in the pros…

  13. zacksdad - Sep 19, 2012 at 4:26 PM

    Or like Kevin Garnett (a life time Laker fan) going to the Boston Celtics?

  14. diehardcard - Sep 19, 2012 at 8:00 PM

    There are really 2 fan bases in Phoenix due to the transplant nature of the city. There are the traditional, loyal, native Arizonans and there are the newcomers with split, or simply different loyalties. The sad fact is that the transplants far outnumber the natives.

    When it comes to Nash, the transplants immediately forgave him and fully bought the “it’s for my kids” line. The natives didn’t buy the PR cover. They feel betrayed not only by their favorite, most popular, most successful player since Charles Barkley, but by the ownership that made the trade happen. They already hated Sarver, so no real change there, but they HATE Nash now. HATE him. Trust me, I live here. You won’t hear about it because all of our media are transplants, but for natives it’s like Jordan asking to be traded to the Pistons. Absolutely unthinkable.

    • manchestermiracle - Sep 20, 2012 at 12:48 PM

      So then Phoenix is pretty much the same as L.A.: Half the people there came from somewhere else and many still root for their hometown team. The Rams left town because their home games were more like road games. Most of the stadium was fans of the opposing team. Well, that and the fact the Rams sucked for so long. The Lakers have been more successful than not and it makes it easy for most basketball fans in L.A., regardless of origin, to get behind them. Anyone not wishing the best for Nash in trying to get his first ring is nothing but an immature, sour-grapes jerk. Like Phoenix is going to be competitive any time soon.

  15. diehardcard - Sep 19, 2012 at 8:07 PM

    Nash could have gone anywhere else and all Phoenix would have cheered him. Anywhere else.

  16. phx1311 - Sep 20, 2012 at 3:33 AM

    seeing nash in a laker uni the first time will be hard to watch but i believe him when he says Phoenix was his first choice and he wamted to come back. Clearly the suns were ready to move on and the 3 point gaurds we have prove that. I will never wear a laker uni but I am a Nash fan for life.

  17. justaride88 - Sep 20, 2012 at 6:33 AM

    I get hating players who leave their team to a rival, but If Nash will get boeed when he plays Phoenix, it will just blow my mind. It’s one thing to hate on players like D12 or LeBron who stirred up the controversy and even seamed to enjoy it. He has been very loyal to Suns and left with class after giving most of he’s best years to their team, after all that, does he still is obliged to go only to non rival teams? And if he really wants to take a shot at championship (he has just few years left in he’s carrier), not just a little ofseason run, on a team that he will be a starter, than Lakers are one of only very few options out there. So, should he refuse him self probably he’s last chance on title?

  18. paulhargis53 - Sep 20, 2012 at 9:07 AM

    What’s the matter bozo, have I gotten under your skin? Poor little guy.
    The best you can do is to twist my screen name and tell me to gf myself?

    You actually aren’t worth the tim I’m taking to type to you, but if you’d like to get into a verbal war- I’m you’re huckleberrry.

    You’ll have to up your game though, so far, I’ve been taking it easy on you.

  19. paulhargis53 - Sep 20, 2012 at 9:09 AM

    limona, thanks for the heads up.

    It certainly explains his postings, the Knicks haven’t been relevant to the NBA for 20 years.

  20. alltimelaker - Sep 20, 2012 at 12:02 PM

    I’m sure most of you are familiar with the radio interview with Nash about one week before the trade where he was going on and on about how he could not see himself as a Laker or throwing on a Lakers jersey and what not. Fast forward one week and we get the trade news here in LA and we’re all obviously excited. I then happen to come across a radio station in Phoenix, in which the callers are calling in just LIVID about Nash coming to the Lakers. I was absolutely astonished at how much the Phoenix Suns and their fans consider the Lakers to be their arch rival. This phenomenon, however, does not seem to be isolated to phoenix. All regional teams, most Western Conference teams, and even some Eastern Conference teams see the Lakers the same way.
    Can a “rivalry” really exist if the feeling is not reciprocated?! I have been a Lakers fan for24 years. During all that time, the only team I ever saw as our arch rival was the Celtics. This is despite the fact that the Celtics had been a mediocre team for 20 out of those 24 years.
    To all the other teams, with the possible current exception of OKC and Miami, THE LAKERS AND THEIR FANS DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT YOU. This is not to sound pompous or arrogant, it’s simply the honest truth. A true rivalry is developed through tough competition, history, tradition, continuity, and organizational excellence. How many teams in the NBA (andeven other sports) have these attributes? Not too many. This is not to say we don’t respect most other teams in the NBA, we just don’t consider them as our arch rivals. Yet, you go up to any fan in any other regional city and ask them who their arch rival is, and more likely than not, they will say, “The Lakers.”
    Now, my next point. Did we cry, moan, or complain when D. Fish left the Lakers to sign with the warriors in ’04? Did we ostracize Lamar Odom for demanding a trade last year? No. We simply respected their decisions and they got nothing but love and applause every time they came back to Staples. We didn’t crucify them for doing what they thought was in the best interest of their careers. Now, let’s take a look at these other fan bases. What happened to D. Fish after his daughter was diagnosed with cancer and he needed to be where she could receive the best possible attention and treatment? Yeah…he was booed!! You can bet the house that the same fate awaits Nash when he goes back to Phoenix.
    People, especially his so-called friend Grand Hill should understand, accept, and support Nash’s decision. It was a matter of geographical convenience…pure and simple! God forbid a father would want to be close to his kids. Way to throw your friend under the bus Grant. Some friend you are. In my opinion, this is just Hill’s attempt to wash his own hands and somehow begin to justify his stupid decision to join an inferior organization that has fallen into much luck as of recently through the fortunate acquisition of a certain player last year. You cannot overlook the fact that their owner is a bumbling idiot and even a broken clock is right twice a day. But I digress.
    It’s funny that even Steve Nash has been taken aback by how warmly he’s been received here in LA. If he was expecting jeers and insults, he certainly didn’t get that. We don’t hate you Nash–never have. Now that you’re here, we love you. And if for some unforeseen reason you left and decided to finish your career somewhere else, guess what? We wouldn’t hate you.
    PS: Shaq…we love you too. =)

    • manchestermiracle - Sep 21, 2012 at 10:48 AM

      You can always tell the places that think beating the Lakers will make their season. They all chant L.A. Oh, sure, they put “beat” in front of it, but what other team in any other sport has the opposition chanting their name?

  21. paulhargis53 - Sep 22, 2012 at 5:27 PM

    Jimmie…..that’s funny. 1 question, how do you know how big our penises are?
    I mean, you’re right, about me at least. But how do you know?

    Listen, its nor my fault your debate skulls are lacking and you can’t shut me up.

    It would be easier and WISER. for you to just ignore me. Just a word of warning.

  22. modi3000 - Sep 23, 2012 at 1:57 PM

    alltimelaker and diehardcard are right on point. From many Phoenix fans there was almost a vitriolic reaction when Nash decided to go to the Lakers. Same with Ray Allen and the Heat. Like Lebron, some Suns fans even burnt Nash’s jersey.

    However, there is a big difference in the NATIONAL coverage of Nash as opposed to Ray Allen and definitely Lebron. The negative Nash reaction remained largely local in its coverage, and wasn’t picked up nationally, so folks outside of Phoenix don’t really know about it. Some of the local reaction against Nash is chronicled here:

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