Grant Hill elected to Hall of Fame Board of Governors, could Hall induction be next?

Posted by on April 20th, 12:33 am

Now a member of the Hall's Board of Governors, will Grant Hill make a successful pitch for the Hall of Fame one day? (AP Photo/Matt York)

Now a member of the Hall's Board of Governors, will Grant Hill make a successful pitch for the Hall of Fame one day? (AP Photo/Matt York)

On Tuesday Grant Hill became the first active player to be elected to the basketball Hall of Fame’s Board of Governors.

It remains to be seen whether Hill will also become the first player without a ring whose prime was decimated by injuries to earn induction into the Hall of Fame.

As for the Board of Governors honor, Hill gets a three-year term to be one of the 22 Board of Governors, a group chaired by former Suns owner Jerry Colangelo. This group oversees the management of the Hall by promoting the Hall’s mission “to celebrate the greatest moments and people in basketball on a worldwide basis.”

“It is truly an honor to be elected as a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Board of Governors and to represent the living history of basketball,” Hill said in a release.  “It is important for the current generation of players to get involved with the Hall to help recognize the greatest in the game who have gone before us.”

Added Colangelo: “Grant Hill has been one of the most dedicated, honorable and well-respected individuals the game has ever seen,” said Colangelo.  “The Board recognized that Grant has offered a high level of leadership and integrity both on and off the court for so many years at all levels of the game.”

An honor like this is why I feel Hill has a shot at the Hall despite having the prime of his career being wiped out by injuries. He’s the only NBA player to ever win three Sportsmanship Awards and is an elite ambassador to the game and mentor for young players.

His first six seasons were Hall of Fame worthy as well, as he consistently scored 20 points a game while filling up the box score. He averaged a career-high 25.8 in 1999-00 and tossed up a 21.4-9.0-7.3 in 1996-97. After six seasons he accumulated 9,393 points, 3,417 rebounds and 2,720 assists, numbers only Oscar Robertson, Larry Bird and LeBron James have surpassed in that time.

In other words he was on his way to being a Hall of Famer until he played 47 games his first four years in Orlando, missing 2003-04 altogether.

But that wasn’t it for Hill as he has reinvented himself as an excellent role player in Phoenix by putting together four straight healthy seasons. He averaged 13.2 ppg while playing elite defense at the age of 38 this year.

Overall Hill’s resume includes the following honors: co-Rookie of the Year, seven-time All-Star, one All-NBA First Team, four All-NBA Second Teams, one Olympic gold medal and two college NCAA championships.

BasketballReference.com’s Hall of Fame Monitor gives Hill a score of 119, whereas a 135 denotes a likely Hall of Famer. Injuries prevented Hill’s prime from making him a definite Hall of Famer, but at this point he may be close enough for honors such as this Board of Governors seat to push him over the top.

Kerr broadcasting D’Antoni

I’ve really enjoyed listening to Steve Kerr call games this year because it provides a window into the thinking of the man who built the 2010-11 Phoenix Suns.

Tonight presented an interesting dynamic with the former Suns general manager announcing a game coached by his former head coach, Mike D’Antoni.

Kerr and D’Antoni, you may remember, didn’t see eye to eye after the Suns’ 2008 playoff ouster to San Antonio, with Kerr wanting D’Antoni to place a heavier focus on defense and to develop a deeper bench.

Fast forward to Tuesday night and the Knicks — a team with similar issues with defense and depth — allowed Delonte West to take the clock from 4.1 to 0.6 in a one-point game with nary a chase, and Kerr commented, “It’s the same old story, same movie, same ending, execution in the last two minutes. … When the game’s on the line the Celtics make the plays and the Knicks have been close, but they just haven’t been able to finish it off.”

In a different time and place, Kerr could have been talking about Amare and the Knicks as Phoenix and the veteran Celtics as the veteran Spurs when the Suns were close but shoddy execution down the stretch of Game 1 of 2008 in particular allowed San Antonio to finish them off.

Michael Schwartz founded ValleyoftheSuns in October 2008 and is the owner/editor emeritus of the site. He is currently working toward his MBA in sports business at San Diego State University.

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Tags: Grant Hill · Mike D'Antoni · Phoenix Suns · Phoenix Suns Analysis · Steve Kerr

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Steve // Apr 20, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    This has sparked a lot of discussion on whether or not Hill will get in as a player, and I honestly can’t believe that anyone would ask that question. Based on his NBA career alone, I still think he is worthy. One first team, four second teams, rookie of the year, all-rookie first team, and he is top 100 all-time in virtually every stat that counts, such as assists, d-rebounds, minutes, field goals, free throws, points, steals, PER, win shares… you name it, Grant is top 100. Plus, they should name the sportsmanship award after HIM. Are you going to tell me one of the 100 best players in NBA history doesn’t belong in the Hall?

    And that’s not even considering the fact that he won back to back championships at Duke, was an All-American, was involved in one of the most exciting basketball plays of all time (and this actually counts toward Hall induction, believe it or not), he won a gold medal, and he was an All-American as a high-schooler.

    I know there might not be too many doubters here, but will someone please make a compelling argument to me that Hill doesn’t belong in the Hall of Fame as a player?

  • 2 Jeff Moreau // Apr 24, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    I see Grant Hill as a Hall of Famer. He played too good for too long of time not to be in the Hall of Fame.
    He was a quality player and his play I think showed that.
    I don’t see how he does not get in, I just don’t.

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