HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — If there is a locker room in the NBA with better leadership than the Los Angeles Clippers, we need to see it.
Chauncey Billups, Chris Paul and now, according to reports, Grant Hill will all share space in Clippers’ locker room at Staples Center. That gives them three of the league’s most respected team leaders in the same space. The Clippers beat out their Staples Center roommates and their ace recruiter, Los Angeles Lakers point guard Steve Nash, for Hill’s services, per The Los Angeles Times:
The Clippers continue to put together an impressive roster, getting free-agent forward Grant Hill to agree Tuesday to join the team, according to NBA executives who were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.
He will be the backup small forward behind starter Caron Butler.
Hill, who will be 40 in October when training camp opens, has had a productive 17-year career despite ankle injuries that almost derailed it.
He averaged 10.2 points on 44.6% shooting last season with the Phoenix Suns, 3.5 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 28.1 minutes.
Over his career, the 6-foot-8 Hill has averaged 17.5 points, 6.1 rebounds and 4.2 assists.
Hill was swayed to join the Clippers rather than the Lakers (a team that had also expressed interest in him) after he met with Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro in Las Vegas on Sunday, had dinner with Chauncey Billups recently in Vegas and had a phone conversation with Chris Paul.
With both teams in Los Angeles beefing up their ranks this summer, the rivalry that neither side wanted to admit existed last season seems to be taking on some intriguing new dimensions.
Nash and Hill teamed up in Phoenix the last five seasons, each of them tapping into their own fountains of youth to produce at levels their years of service in the league suggest they shouldn’t have been able to. When Nash joined the Lakers there was a widespread belief that Hill would follow.
It appears he’s joined the other side instead!