Grant Hill enjoyed his time with the Phoenix Suns, but after looking at the landscape of the organization this offseason he decided his best move was to look elsewhere. The small forward signed a two-year deal with the Los Angeles Clippers worth $4 million dollars, and he is excited to join a promising organization that has added Jamal Crawford and Lamar Odom to their bench this offseason.
Grant Hill joined KTAR in Phoenix with Doug and Wolf to discuss signing with the Los Angeles Clippers, remembering his time with the Phoenix Suns and the reason behind signing with the Los Angeles Clippers.
Why are you a member of the Clippers today?
“If you look at it and look I have been around professional sports it seems my whole life and you guys have obviously been around…I mean change happens. It’s inevitable. It always happens and teams go in different directions or it’s time. I really enjoyed the five years that I had the opportunity to play in Phoenix and the organization and the fans and I know we went out and didn’t get the ultimate in terms of winning the championship, but we tried. We tried our best and so I am proud of what we did as a group. You can always sort of argue maybe it was time two years ago when Amar’e [Stoudemire] left and there were some changes there with personnel or maybe you could argue going another two years. I don’t know, but change in sport is inevitable, so it’s part of the deal and I have no hard feelings. I don’t think the organization does. I think there actually has been some really good moves and so yeah it’s not easy. There’s excitement obviously. I’m excited to be a Clipper. I’m excited to be on this team, which they have gone through some changes and certainly are in a good position now, but in the same breath I am sad because I thoroughly enjoy going to work every day and being a part of that team and certainly part of the community.”
How are you going to remember your time with the Phoenix Suns as compared to the rest of your career?
“Well I feel like I have had three different careers. The time I had in college and then in Detroit obviously were great times in terms of production, but that was so long ago I can barely remember that. Somebody asked me in the media can you talk about something from 1994? I said man I can’t remember last year let alone 1994, but I know when I arrived in Phoenix just because of my injuries and circumstances the situation that I had been in Orlando just wasn’t the best. I’d say that just being in the environment for five years and the memories, the relationships, the experiences really made it fun and exciting for me and may in some respects rekindled that love for the game and everything about it. Like I said it wasn’t always great and we had some good runs. We had some bad ones, but I enjoyed it. It was a pleasure and so I chose to just sort of focus on that and be thankful that you guys accepted me and brought me in and let me be a part of playing in Orange. I think sometimes as athletes when you leave teams you want to see them lose. I think that sometimes happens and I think I genuinely care about that franchise and the people there. I want to see them succeed. I want to see them do well and I think they will.”
What can you tell us about your offseason?
“Well I guess Steve Nash will be calling soon looking for his 4%, but I guess he asked to come to LA, he just didn’t specify. It was an interesting offseason. I think it has been an interesting last couple of weeks here with the whole free agent period just for me personally, the Phoenix Suns franchise and just the NBA overall. There’s been a lot of movement and change. I think as a fan it’s been sort of enjoyable to watch. I don’t know I just…I don’t want to get into specifics. A lot went on and certainly a lot of the teams that were mentioned as possibilities, not all of them were necessarily possibilities and some of the possibilities weren’t even mentioned and certainly I thought social media…people can run with that. I was sort of amused at all the speculation and kind of honored and flattered that people still had interest, but I’ll say this: I really as of June 30th I wasn’t necessarily thinking about leaving Phoenix and I wasn’t thinking about the Clippers and I had an opportunity to talk with Vinny Del Negro, who was formally with the Phoenix Suns organization and I think played their as well and just sort of the transformation with the things that have gone on that team and bringing that core back and adding Lamar Odom. Chauncey Billups is healthy. Jamal Crawford and throwing myself into the mix. It was exciting. I think the Suns…I think their franchise and certainly the moves they have made are good moves, but I think has lowered a little bit and I think it’s sort of about going through that transformation and every team and every franchise, every good franchise, with good players and a good run go through it. It’s not highly unusual and I think it’s important to remain patient and let it play out. You got some good pieces. You got Goran Dragic back, who I think the world of. I think he has blossomed and he has the chance just to continue to get better and better. You throw Michael Beasley into the mix, who having had to guard him…I think he is talented and found a good home for himself and certainly playing for Alvin Gentry will be good for him and his career. You have guys that have still been there who have a lot of heart and a lot of character and so sometimes change can be painful, but it’s just the reality of sports and so it’s nobodies fault. I just think if I am an outsider looking in it’s just time. It’s unfortunate, but that’s what it is. That’s the reality of it.”