it be a rap supergroup like The Commission, or how Pete Maravich and Julius Erving were almost paired up upon Doctor J's arrival in the NBA, there are certain rumored groupings throughout history that have taken on almost mythic qualities. One of those, for me at least, is Tim Duncan(notes) and Grant Hill(notes) almost both joining the Magic in the summer of 2000.
For the first time since then, Hill and Duncan are meeting in the playoffs. Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News talked to Hill about how close it came to happening.
"We went down together and made a trip there together," [Hill] said. "Afterwards, three or four days later, I committed to going. Tim called me to possibly make a visit to San Antonio.
"I had already met with (Spurs coach Gregg Popovich). Pop came up to Detroit and met with me. The problem was they didn't have any money to offer. Taking a one- or two-year deal, with the risk of my injury and having a lot of money (from Orlando) on the table, it didn't make a lot of sense."
Dang. Grant Hill's exploding ankles ruined another potentially awesome event. Curse you, brittle tendons!
For his part, Duncan wouldn't leave San Antonio which Hill notes was "the right decision," before adding that "it wouldn't seem right to see [Duncan] in another jersey." Three extra titles and the fact that everyone looks good in black seem to prove his points. But we really missed out. Young Grant Hill and young Tim Duncan would have been amazing, especially since we're just fantasizing which means Hill's body wouldn't break down immediately after signing his contract.
That free agency class was considered the best in a long time, just like this year's is. Imagine how much fun it'll be to play this game in 10 years with all the pairings you can conjure up from this summer's crop. We can beam them back and forth to each other's brain computers while we float on our hovercrafts. It'll be awesome.
- Grant Hill
- Tim Duncan