He was one of the greatest players in Detroit Pistons franchise history, and his departure happened to bring aboard a player that would go on to hold the same title.
Grant Hill was drafted by the Pistons with the 3rd overall pick in 1994, and went on to thrill fans in Detroit for years with his flashy play. And he revealed during a recent interview that he nearly returned where it all began.
“I almost came back in 2007,” the Hall of Fame forward told Eric Woodyard of The Undefeated. “And Joe (Dumars) and I had talked. I talked to Flip (Saunders) and Chauncey (Billups) and Lindsey (Hunter) and they were gonna bring me back, and it came between Phoenix and Detroit, and Detroit wanted to pay me and everything.
“I took less money to go to Phoenix and I think I really entertained it and really thought about it, but ultimately, I didn’t want to come back to a shell of myself.”
Of course, the Pistons would alter the franchise’s future by completing a sign and trade with Hill, immediately sending him to the Orlando Magic following his seven year, $92.8 million deal in exchange for Chucky Atkins and Ben Wallace – and the rest is history.
But there was a time when Hill nearly took the court at the Palace of Auburn Hills once again as a member of the Motor City’s team.
“I wanted to stand on those Detroit years and I didn’t want to come back and not be the same player, and it was almost like I needed that for me,” Hill said. “I needed to be able to hold onto those Detroit years, particularly after going through some real dark moments.”
– – Quotes via The Undefeated Link – –