Date: 06/01/2013

Grant Hill announces retirement


LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Clippers forward Grant Hill announced his retirement Saturday after a 19-year career in NBA.

Hill made the announcement on TNT before Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals between the Miami Heat and the Indiana Pacers.

“I’m glad to say I’m done,” Hill said. “I’m officially retired, moving on from playing. I had a great run. I’m announcing it now. … I’ve been hinting at it the last few years. You get to a point where you just don’t want to do it anymore but I’ve enjoyed it. I’ve loved it.”

Hill, 40, signed a two-year, $4 million contract with the Clippers last year but had alluded several times at the end of this season that he would retire over the summer.

Hill only played in 29 games this season for the Clippers while battling various injuries, his fewest since 2006, and only saw action in the Clippers’ last playoff game, a 118-105 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies in Game 6 of the first round. Hill never had averaged fewer than 28 minutes and 10 points per game during his career but only averaged 15.1 minutes and 3.2 points per game off the bench for the Clippers.

“The entire Clippers organization wants to congratulate Grant on an incredible career,” Clippers vice president of basketball operations Gary Sacks said. “For 19 years, Grant has always been the embodiment of class, a true professional and not only one of the best players — but one of the finest individuals I have been around. We were fortunate to have Grant with us last season, and we wish him all the best in his next endeavor.”

Hill’s career was derailed and almost ended because of ankle injuries that allowed him to only play in 47 games with the Orlando Magic over four seasons from 2000-04. He only played in four games in 2000-01 and missed the 2003-04 season.

Hill was one of the best basketball players in the world in the late 1990s after winning two national championships at Duke, an Olympic gold medal with Team USA at the 1996 Olympics and earning five All-NBA honors and the 1994-95 Co-Rookie of the Year Award.

Injuries, however, prevented Hill from reaching his full potential in the NBA, although he was able to play in at least 80 games in three of his five seasons with the Phoenix Suns, where he played in the Western Conference Finals in 2010, his most successful playoff run.

Hill finishes his career with averages of 16.7 points, 6.0 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 1.2 steals in 33.9 minutes per game. Hill played in 1,026 total NBA games (972 starts) and connected on 48.3 percent of his field goals, 31.4 percent from behind the 3-point line and 76 percent of his free throws over his career.

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