A few weeks ago, trying to explain who Harrison Barnes—the nation's top high school player—reminded me of most, I told someone that the best comparison was probably Grant Hill. And my friend was... Nonplussed.â†µ
1995 Co-Rookie of the Year (w/ Jason Kidd)â†µ 1997 All-NBA First teamâ†µ 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000 All-NBA 2nd Teamâ†µ
Finished third to Karl Malone and Michael Jordan in the 1997 Most Valuable Player voting.â†µ After six years, had more points, rebounds, and assists than all but two players in NBA history (Larry Bird, Oscar Robertson)â†µ
And... Well, the numbers speak for themselves. If Harrison Barnes is lucky, he'll be somewhere close to as good as Grant Hill. Just an impossibly fluid scorer, cerebral beyond his years, and the type of player that can dominate a game without scoring 50 points or grabbing 20 rebounds. That was Grant Hill.â†µ
But after that infamous injury late in the 2000 season, he's never been the same. And now, people see who he is, and forget who he was. Or, they remember who he was and dismiss who he is. And that's okay. After a journey that included a dizzying array of foot and ankle surgeries, a hernia, and a staph infection that nearly killed him, Grant Hill's just happy to be. Be in the NBA, be a part of the Suns, and be able to play basketball.â†µ
He spoke candidly to J.A. Adande about his expierences the past few years, and really, it's a must-read for anyone that likes basketball. Whether you forgot about Grant Hill on the Pistons, you don't appreciate Grant Hill on the Suns, or you've never considered the journey it took to get from one place to the other, it's worth your time. And if you do appreciate all those things, even moreso. To hear the story from the man himself is exceptionally cool.