Grant Hill excited to join Clippers
LOS ANGELES -- Maybe Grant Hill's decision to sign with the Los Angeles Clippers rather than the Los Angeles Lakers wasn't as difficult as many thought despite being recruited by former Phoenix Suns teammate Steve Nash to join the Lakers.
"I've been through this before where I've switched teams and I don't like to get into the process and the details and things of that nature," Hill said Friday. "All I'll say is that some things and some teams that were reported weren't true. ... We'll play the Lakers a couple of times this year, and hopefully Steve will pass me the ball like he used to."
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Hill signed a two-year deal with the Clippers worth $4 million, while the Lakers reportedly were offering him a one-year deal for the veteran's minimum.
Despite his close relationship with Nash, who signed a three-year, $27 million deal with the Lakers last week, Hill decided to sign with the Clippers after being sold on the team by Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro, who worked with Hill when he was the assistant general manager of the Suns, as well as Chris Paul and Chauncey Billups.
"I had some good conversations with (Del Negro) and I was impressed with the things that went on last year," Hill said. "Obviously (Blake) Griffin and his progression, Chris coming on board and Chauncey and some of the moves that were made this offseason were big. It just seemed like a good fit. It was a team that took a big step last season and hopefully we can take another big step this season."
Hill, who will turn 40 in October, recently had the same platelet-enrichment procedure done on his knee in Germany that Kobe Bryant had, and he said he felt re-energized. Hill started 46 of 49 games last season and averaged a career-low 10.2 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 28.1 minutes.
"I feel good," Hill said. "I felt good before I went over there (for the procedure.) Bottom line is you want to play and you want to give yourself every opportunity to be right. It was really good. I feel good. It was worth the trip."
Hill's signing, combined with the offseason acquisitions of Lamar Odom, Jamal Crawford and Ryan Hollins, round out the Clippers' efforts this offseason to revamp their bench and give them some much-needed depth, especially on the front line.
"There hasn't been one guy that wasn't our first choice that we haven't gotten," Del Negro said. "It's been great. We just feel very good about the people we're bringing in, the players, the talent and the chemistry of the team. We're building it the right way."