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Grant Hill announces his retirement after 19 seasons

Jun 1, 2013, 8:31 PM EDT

Orlando Magic v Washington Wizards Getty Images

Grant Hill is retiring after playing 19 seasons in the NBA, and he made the announcement personally on national television during TNT’s pregame coverage of Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

Hill played sparingly for the Clippers in his final season, and the team had a prepared release ready once Hill broke the news.

“The entire Clippers organization wants to congratulate Grant on an incredible career,” Clippers Vice President of Basketball Operations Gary Sacks said. “For 19 years, Grant has always been the embodiment of class, a true professional and not only one of the best players – but one of the finest individuals I have been around. We were fortunate to have Grant with us last season, and we wish him all the best in his next endeavor.”

Hill played five seasons for the Phoenix Suns before joining the Clippers for this last one, where he really didn’t get a chance to make the impact he was hoping to on a team with championship aspirations. Limited by injury, Hill appeared in just 29 games in Los Angeles, and his averages of 3.2 points and 1.7 rebounds in 15.1 minutes per contest were by far the lowest of his career.

Just the season before, and really in his final three season in Phoenix, Hill had become his team’s best defender, and regularly guarded the opponent’s best player from the one to the four position. He remained an excellent finisher at the rim on the fast break even in his later years, and was always the consummate professional who was never anything less than a class act to deal with 100 percent of the time.

A seven-time All-Star, Hill had a decorated career that was stellar by any account, even despite the injuries he suffered while with the Orlando Magic. Originally selected with the third overall pick in the 1994 NBA Draft by the Detroit Pistons, he was the co-Rookie of the Year in 1995, and was named to the All-NBA First Team in 1997 and the All-NBA Second Team in 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2000. He was also a member of the 1996 U.S. Olympic team which won the gold medal.

Hill finishes his career with averages of 16.7 points, 6.0 rebounds, 4.1 assists, and 1.2 steals in 33.9 minutes per game. He will have several opportunities available to him in his life after basketball, one of which which may include an invitation to join the front office in Phoenix in some capacity. The team’s president of basketball operations, Lon Babby, was Hill’s longtime agent before joining the Suns organization.

  1. saint1997 - Jun 1, 2013 at 8:36 PM

    A great player with a great career unfortunately cut down significantly by injuries. Truly hope he stays around the game – I can totally see him using that great basketball IQ and communication skills to become a wonderful head coach in the Association.

  2. thekingdave - Jun 1, 2013 at 8:46 PM

    Does this leave Jason Kidd as the only active NBA player who was on NBA Jam? I know he was on the All Rookie team, but still.

    • patfic15 - Jun 1, 2013 at 9:34 PM

      You sir are correct.

      • patfic15 - Jun 1, 2013 at 9:35 PM

        Maybe Juwan Howard?

    • hurrzog - Jun 1, 2013 at 11:01 PM

      I was thinking Dikembe Mutumbo was the last, but I had forgotten about the rookie players. I remember the Utah Jazz being the bee’s knee’s in that game.

    • 00maltliquor - Jun 2, 2013 at 2:20 AM

      The original one or the Tournament Edition (T.E.)?

      Nobody’s around from the original one, not even Kidd. That Dallas Mavericks team consisted of Derek Harper and Jim Jackson.

      • 00maltliquor - Jun 2, 2013 at 2:24 AM

        …still got it. Both the original and T.E. Have it hooked up in my 10 month old son’s room for SNES……eagerly waiting for him to grasp the concept of how to play so I could put the hurt on him! LOL…J/K. Kinda.

      • thekingdave - Jun 2, 2013 at 3:08 AM

        Tournament Edition, there was no rookie team on the original. Stumbled across this and got a 59 http://www.sporcle.com/games/AdmiralMaxtreme/nbajamte.
        My local dive bar has either the original or TE on free play but im usually too drunk to remember which version it is. Either way I believe Juwan Howard wasn’t on the all rookie team.

    • no6969el - Jul 15, 2013 at 1:10 AM

      There are NO active players on NBA Jam. Jason Kidd is a coach now.

  3. edwardemanuelson - Jun 1, 2013 at 8:51 PM

    The NBA just got a little less classy, if that’s even possible. Grant, you’ve been a true professional from day one, through all your ups and downs. I hope you’ll one day share your knowledge as an announcer.

    Happy retirement!

  4. monkeyhateclean - Jun 1, 2013 at 8:51 PM

    Nice guy, decent career, should never even sniff the HOF based on his highly average pro career.

    • dondada10 - Jun 1, 2013 at 9:16 PM

      Highly average? Come on man, he was one of the best players in the league for years. It’s a shame what happened to him in Orlando, but even post-injury Grant Hill was very effective, and above average, for the Suns.

      Also, consider that the basketball HOF isn’t exclusively NBA. His college career is taken into consideration, as well. That essentially locks up his induction–as a first ballet Hall of Famer.

    • blackmike2 - Jun 2, 2013 at 12:29 AM

      i guess you never lived in any place where G.H played. the man was luvved wherever he played. even with the clips, and he hardly had a chance to play there.

  5. beavertonsteve - Jun 1, 2013 at 9:03 PM

    If you wanted to get laughed out of a bar in 2002 you could just insist to everyone that Grant Hill is going to have a successful 19 year career.

  6. jimthebuilder27 - Jun 1, 2013 at 9:24 PM

    Always loved this guy. Good work ethic, great attitude and a total class act. Wish he could have gotten a ring, but he has nothing to be ashamed of. He left it all on the court and I’ll always be a fan of his!

  7. ProBasketballPundit - Jun 1, 2013 at 9:46 PM

    Grant Hill was so amazing in Detroit that I remember salivating at the idea of Tim Duncan and Grant Hill signing together in Orlando. In an alternate universe where that happened and Grant Hill stayed healthy… not one, not two, not three etc etc

    PS Grant Hill should make the Hall of Fame because the Naismith HOF includes college careers. I mean Ralph Sampson made the HOF and he basically had two good years in the NBA.

  8. money2long - Jun 1, 2013 at 9:58 PM

    this guy was lebron-light

  9. imakcds - Jun 1, 2013 at 11:06 PM

    A True Class Act, and if you don’t know that injuries curtailed an amazing basketball talent, then you need to do some studying.

  10. mazblast - Jun 1, 2013 at 11:11 PM

    I really thought his full name was Oft-Injured Grant Hill Will Not Play Tonight. He was not a great pro, just one who played well when physically able.

    He went to the right school, always said the right things, and has a famous father. He’ll do just fine in retirement, and I wish him well. Unlike so many, he stayed out of trouble and tried his best despite a body that just wouldn’t cooperate.

    • urodaddy07 - Jun 1, 2013 at 11:50 PM

      Grant Hill suffered a devastating ankle injury requiring multiple operations. He was not able to play at a time when he would probably have been at his prime. The HOF is not about potential, and as much as I admire GH, I don’t think his career is HOF-worthy. GH is a class act. NBA needs more guys like him. I wonder though if he would have been as likable had he not had the injury and had a HOF type career. Or would he have been more like Kobe?

  11. adoombray - Jun 1, 2013 at 11:36 PM

    Surgical defender here in Phoenix. We loved him and they could give him any job he wanted and everyone in town will toast to it. We woulda been fine with him as head coach too. Had a second renaissance through pure hard work.

  12. mat9844 - Jun 1, 2013 at 11:53 PM

    Really a class act all the way. We need more NBA players like Grant.

  13. themagicfanguy - Jun 2, 2013 at 12:24 AM

    I hate Grant Hill. Thanks for nothing, bum.

    • florida727 - Jun 2, 2013 at 9:32 AM

      Guess what? Grant Hill doesn’t care if YOU hate HIM.

      He has a little over 140 million reasons, over the course of his career, not to give a crap what you think. Oh yeah, neither do I.

  14. earpaniac - Jun 2, 2013 at 1:00 AM

    Hard to believe now, but he was one of the few guys who was mentioned as Jordan’s “successor” when he was in Detroit. Had a good career, but not the special one he was having before the injuries.

  15. joeandcambria - Jun 2, 2013 at 8:58 AM

    Fantastic player. Hope the Pistons retire his jersey.

  16. tmatic74 - Jun 2, 2013 at 10:03 AM

    Always a class act. Much respect due to Grant Hill.

  17. michflaguy - Jun 2, 2013 at 3:11 PM

    What I’d the problem in Orlando? Is a dentist the team doctor? Every time they have a player of quality who gets injured, they screw up the guy physically.

  18. drago2012 - Jun 2, 2013 at 7:19 PM

    This guy was a solid NBA Player. He was a shining example what NBA was and should be!! Not only did he have god given physical talent, but he also had a brain!!! Wish him luck in his new career. He will raise the IQ of a NBA ESP or TNT crews by 75 points at least!!!

  19. themagicfanguy - Jun 2, 2013 at 9:54 PM

    Did I say that he cares if I hate him? No. Reading comprehension these days is horrible.

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