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Grant Hill alleges the Detroit Pistons mismanaged his ankle injury, possibly due to standard Isiah Thomas set

Appearing on Jason Whitlock’s podcast, Grant Hill said the Pistons “mismanaged” his injury during his final season in Detroit:

“I don’t think anybody really knows I started to have ankle problems at the end of the 1999-2000 season, probably mid-March,” Hill said. “I was still able to go out and play. I still played well, but I was getting a lot of treatment. It was certainly bothering me. As we got closer to the end of the season, my ankle was really getting worse. I was missing practice. To the point where we had a nationally televised game against Philadelphia and I just pulled myself. My ankle was just killing me. We get back, we get an MRI. They say it’s a bone bruise.”

Hill rested the final three games of the regular season and returned to the lineup for the Miami playoff series.

“It’s still bothering me,” Hill said. “I pull myself in the third quarter. They put me on some heavy medication and we had a long break between Game 1 and Game 2. While I was on this medication I felt great. Obviously it was masking the pain. Went out and played in Game 2 and I felt a pop in the second quarter, continued on in the third quarter and couldn’t go on. When we got back, we found out it was broken.

“I (had been) told everything was fine. I even found out that certain team doctors were questioning whether I was really hurt, thinking I was soft or whatever. This was after I had pulled myself from Game 2 against the Heat. At that time, when I found out I had broken my ankle, as crazy as this sounds, I was relieved. I finally had some confirmation, I finally had proof that I’m really not making it up.”

Hill said Isiah Thomas’ long shadow might have affected the way the Pistons dealt with his injury.

“There was a standard in Detroit and that standard was Isiah,” Hill said. “He grew up in Chicago. He was tough. He played hurt. He had that great game against the Lakers in the Finals (on a twisted ankle). He was the face of the franchise and I’m sort of the exact opposite. I’m sure there were Isiah supporters within the organization. Who knows? I can only speculate. But it was like no matter what I did, it wasn’t as good as Isiah….

“I wasn’t trying to prove how tough I am. I was just trying to win.”

4 Comments

  • Apr 28, 20118:02 am
    by gmehl1977

    Reply

    Does anybody else remember feeling like Hill had abandoned us for greener pastures when he left for Orlando? When i found out i thought the pistons wouldn’t win a championship for at least 20 years. I am sure Cleveland fans would be feeling the very same way but obviously a lot more angrier. I will always feel sorry for Hill and the way his career panned out because he really was going to be something special. I honestly thought he was a chance to average a triple double for a whole season at some point in his career. I am sure there is some truth to Hill being pressured to come back earlier than he should have but at the end of the day he was a grown man and if he knew he wasn’t ready he should of said so.

  • [...] said the Detroit Pistons mismanaged his ankle injury, possibly due to standard Isiah Thomas set. PistonPowered has the transcript: “‘I (had been) told everything was fine. I even found out that [...]

  • [...] Whitlock’s podcast, viaPiston Powered: "I (had been) told everything was fine. I even found out that certain team doctors were [...]

  • [...] But it’s a cold comfort. Because Hill’s career will always leave me wanting. Grant Hill is eighth on the all-time triple-double leaderboard. That’s ahead of Jordan and Clyde Drexler, which is rather impressive, because Hill hasn’t had a triple double since Clinton was president. Seriously. His last triple double occurred in the 1999 lockout-shortened season, against the Stockton-Malone Jazz. This isn’t some kind of fluke, either — Hill was phenomenal in his first six years, while he was with Detroit. His career averages as a Piston are 22-8-6, with 47% shooting from the field and 75% from behind the line. With, again, 29 triple doubles. Make no mistake — those are star numbers. The once-in-a-generation sort. He was also a really solid defender, in my view, though we obviously don’t have synergy statistics or per-possession defensive stats for his time with the Pistons. Despite all this, Hill’s career was derailed when (in his 6th season) Hill played through a bad ankle injury and stayed on the court until the ankle utterly gave out on him, breaking badly. But he wasn’t totally to blame for it. Reportedly, the Detroit organization openly wondered whether he was “playing soft,” and just funneled him stronger and stronger painkillers to keep him on the court. [...]

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