Michael Jordan scored 20 points in the first quarter against Grant Hill at 40 years of age, leading Hill to head back to the locker room.
Grant Hill came into the league guns blazing, ready to cement his place in the uppermost echelons of the NBA. His game in the late 90s showcased his absolute peak with the 1999-00 season being his best as he averaged 25.8 points and 6 assists a night, looking like the second coming of Scottie Pippen or even better, Michael Jordan.
Isiah Thomas even said that guys like him were projecting Grant Hill to take up the mantle from Michael Jordan, eventually, as the face of the league. Seeing his 2000 NBA season certainly would give them hope for this to take place. Unfortunately, injuries to his ankle led him to miss a whole season and not play 82 games until he was 36 years old on the Suns.
One thing nobody can take away from Hill would be his resilience to stay in the NBA despite his injuries as he enjoyed a 19 year career
Grant Hill simply could not guard Michael Jordan in his final NBA season.
Speaking of longevity, Michael Jordan was still one of the best guards in the league from ages 38-40 while on the Washington Wizards. Sure, he did have a steep decline in efficiency but was perhaps as smart as he’d ever been when it came to picking his spots on the floor.
Grant Hill could do nothing but watch the 6x champ pick apart the Magic defense in his last game against him in the 2002-03 season.
“So, we’re playing the Wizards and he (Jordan) torched me the first quarter. He literally gave me 20 points in the first quarter on the same play. I couldn’t guard him. I checked myself out of the game in the first quarter and didn’t even go back to the bench. I walked back to the locker room and I was done,” said Grant Hill on the Dan Patrick Show.
Michael Jordan would play every single game of the ‘03 season and average an even 20 points per game while shooting 45% from the field.