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Friday, April 3, 2020

Grant Hill on Steve Nash joining Lakers: It’s like going from Carolina to Duke

Grant Hill left Phoenix for Los Angeles like his former Suns teammate Steve Nash, but they chose different teams. Hill signed with the Clippers while Nash was traded to the Lakers. When asked about Nash going from the Suns to a team he hated, Hill put it in college rivalry terms.

“That’s like transferring from Duke and going to Carolina,” Hill told Dan Bickley and Mike Jurecki during an interview on KGME-AM Monday.

Hill of course went to Duke and won two national championships there, so he never would have considered transferring to the Blue Devils’ biggest rival. And unlike Nash who asked to go to the Lakers, Hill chose the Clippers. The story of how he ended up with them is pretty interesting.

Hill indicated that he really only met with the Clippers as a favor to Vinny Del Negro.

“I had dinner with Chauncey when I was in town in Vegas covering the Olympic team and we didn’t even talk about the Clippers. It didn’t even come up. We hung out and talked about other things. And then I met with Vinny really almost as a favor, just because I had known him, played against him and he had worked for the Suns my first year. I just really liked what he was saying. It really worked,” said Hill.

“As we started talking about the team — some of the strengths, some of the weaknesses, some of the concerns — just a very honest conversation, I liked it. I liked the vision of how we would play. It made sense.

“They were never really on my radar.”

Hill said that although he wanted to stay in Phoenix, he also wanted to win, and that the best last year’s Suns could have done was be a No. 8 seed in the playoffs. He noted that the Suns lost a lot of key players from the time he joined the team and that it was time for him to move on.

Now Hill will be wearing a Clippers jersey, while Nash wears Duke blue.

Chest bump to The Basketball Jones, Coro’s Orange Slices blog

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