I can remember in the early to mid 90’s constantly calling Grant Hill overrated. The main reason why I felt this way, besides the fact that I was a young and dumb teen with Penny Hardaway posters all over my walls, was because of his instant popularity and praise that I didn’t think he deserved…yet.
As a rookie, the future Rookie of the Year led the NBA in All-Star votes. In his second season, the marketed heir apparent to Air Jordan repeated the accomplishment and actually received more votes than Jordan! Remember this is the 90s, when people loved Jordan so much they voted BJ Armstrong into an All-Star starting lineup the year Jordan was playing baseball (or serving his suspension if you like conspiracy theories).
No matter what the poster-making point forward did — from showing more versatility than a Scottie Pippen with a 20/9/7 season average to placing right behind a prime Shaq and Allen Iverson in the scoring race — I just didn’t want to give Hill the credit he fully deserved.
A decade later, after Hill announced his retirement, I can’t shut up about how underrated a young, healthy Hill was in the 90s and how he, along with only Penny Hardaway, deserved the title of “Next Michael Jordan” during the decade of MJ’s reign .
In his honor, here’s a couple plays showcasing one of the most underrated aspects of Hill’s game, his handles and crossover, on the two hall-of-fame defensive Gods from the Chicago Bulls.
Better angle of his crossover on Pippen in this video.
Before I get to the bonus crossovers, it’s only right that I show you some highlights of Michael Jordan and Pippen shutting down Grant Hill during a 95/96 game and MJ dropping 53 against him and the Pistons.
Now here’s the crossovers, which usually led to a nasty dunk that was going to appear on NBA Inside Stuff’s ‘Jam Session’ the following Saturday.
Grant Hill taking about his crossover and how he often got away with carrying and grabbing the defender’s hands.