Marcus Smart gives Grant Hill his due respect by claiming that Hill was LeBron James well before James had even burst onto the scene.
Anybody who is not up to date with the landscape of the NBA prior to 2003 or so will simply scoff at the notion that there was a player before LeBron James who was just as good as him, if not better. These are the same fans who have unfortunately never seen a prime Grant Hill take over games and lead the Detroit Pistons to the Playoffs in the late 90s.
The former 3rd overall pick was drafted by the Pistons and it was clear from the get-go that he’s built from the same mold that brought about legends like Michael Jordan and Clyde Drexler. He proved this by winning co-Rookie of the Year in 1995 and averaged 21.6 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 6.3 assists in his time with the Pistons.
Looking at those averages, it’s obvious that Grant Hill was a triple double threat on any given night and it’s great to see that current players such as Marcus Smart recognize his greatness before the injuries.
Marcus Smart gives Grant Hill his flowers and claims Hill was LeBron James before LeBron.
In a recent episode of Uninterrupted, Smart talked about how Grant Hill was the true definition of any ‘OG’ and his semblance to what LeBron James eventually became.
“Like me, Grant was born with a competitive spirit. One that sent him to the top of the league, and he had everything an athlete should embody. Strength, resolve, resilience, all of that on top of overcoming ridiculous obstacles on the road to building his legacy.”
“Believe it or not, there was a time where you couldn’t walk through a high school hallway or a blacktop court in any city without seeing someone rocking his Pistons jersey. Grant Hill was LeBron James before LeBron James.”
Their playstyles may have been different in terms of getting buckets for themselves, as Hill was a master of the mid-range while LeBron bullied his way to the rim, but their spatial and court awareness was quite alike.
It’s a shame that ankle injuries and multiple surgeries derailed a career that could’ve gone down in the history books for decades to come. Seeing a healthy Tracy Mcgrady and Grant Hill on an Orlando magic team would’ve struck fear in any opponent’s heart.