Monday, September 26, 2011

The Depressing Grant Hill Orlando Timeline

I'm in a Grant Hill hating mood for some reason and feel like torturing myself with his infamous 7-year run in Orlando. Here's the dreaded timeline many Magic fans really shouldn't read. 

- April 29, 2000: Hill undergoes surgery on his left ankle and sits out the Detroit Pistons' final playoff game against the Miami Heat.
- Aug. 3, 2000: The Orlando Magic acquire Hill in a sign-and-trade deal with Detroit, sending Chucky Atkins and Ben Wallace to the Pistons. Hill's contract is for seven years and $93 million.
- Jan. 3, 2001: Hill undergoes season-ending surgery after playing in only four regular-season games for the Magic.
- Dec. 19, 2001: Hill undergoes another surgery on his ankle.
- Jan. 18, 2003: Hill goes on the injured list again with left-ankle problems and is finished for the season. He undergoes surgery in March and misses the entire 2003-04 season.
- Feb. 15, 2005: Hill scores 39 points in a win over the L.A. Clippers, marking his career high in a Magic uniform.
- Feb. 20, 2005: Hill plays in his only all-star game while with the Magic, scoring six points as a starter for the East in a 125-115 win over the West in Denver.
- Oct. 31, 2005: Hill undergoes surgery for a sports hernia that ended his 2004-05 season and caused him to miss the first 19 games of the 2005-06 season.
- April 28, 2007: In what would mark his last game in a Magic uniform, Hill makes seven of eight field-goal attempts and finishes with 17 points in Orlando's Game 4 loss to Detroit as the Pistons complete a first-round playoff sweep.
- May 17, 2007: Hill tells the Sentinel he would consider his free-agent options but his preference is to play for the Magic.
- July 5, 2007: Hill agrees to terms on a two-year contract that could pay him up to $3.7 million with the Phoenix Suns.

If you still don't want to shoot your faces off, read some fan reaction to G-Hill's exit from the City Beautiful:

Weeks ago, one of my sons asked me what I thought Grant Hill would do regarding the Orlando Magic. I sincerely told him I thought Grant Hill was a man of character and integrity, different than other athletes. I thought he would take the minimum to stay with the Magic and be a leader and almost a player-coach as Stan Van Gundy rebuilt the team.

I didn't believe he would take $93 million of the Magic's money and then run off somewhere else now that he is healthy.

Wow, I could not have been more wrong about a person. Grant Hill turned out to be the same mercenary, selfish athlete that has taken over professional sports over the years. He truly had us fooled as to his character. In 2000, the Magic took a chance on a superstar on crutches and gave away Ben Wallace, arguably the best defensive center over the last seven years. How much different might it have been had we kept Ben Wallace? They took a chance on [Hill], paid him an exorbitant amount of money and got nothing for it.

The Magic had a $93 million cheerleader for the last seven years. He was a wolf in sheep's clothing. And when it came time to pay back the loyalty and favor given to him by the Magic, he turned tail and ran off to another team with a parting comment that it was "time to move on."

Grant, you barely moved at all for seven years, and now it's time to move on? At one time, you might have been held up as a role model. Now, you are a selfish, self-centered mercenary who belongs in the hall of shame. Shame on you, Grant Hill.

Your career will forever be remembered as a "what if." What if the Magic had never signed you, and what if you were a real man of character?

I'd like to wish you well, but I'd be lying. So I will wish you what you deserve. I pray you get everything you deserve in Phoenix just like Penny Hardaway did when he went there. You belong in the same category!

Let me throw in this fan mail, and this final bashing to set the mood for that '07 departure. 

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