Grant Hill To Sign With Orlando
Jul. 08, 2000
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) _ All-Star Grant Hill said Friday that he will sign with the Orlando Magic.
``This is probably one of the hardest decisions I've had to make,'' the former Detroit Pistons star told Detroit radio station WDFN. ``In my heart, I wanted to stay, I really did, but I decided this was the route that I wanted to go.''
The Magic offered the free agent $67.5 million for six years, the most allowed under the collective bargaining agreement.
``I was leaning there, and that's why I visited there, and that's why I didn't visit anyplace else,'' Hill said.
``Ultimately it's just a good fit, and it wasn't about going down there and seeing Mickey Mouse. To me, I've always been impressed with the team and that organization, and it's a place where, if I was to leave Detroit, that's where I wanted to go.''
The decision came amid a heightened courtship of Hill, in which the New York Knicks flew their management team to Detroit to meet with him and the Pistons urged him to re-sign.
``I still heard out other teams, and I still heard what they had to say,'' Hill said. ``But at the end of the day, this is the decision I made and the decision I'm comfortable with.''
Pistons executive Joe Dumars said he met with Hill on Thursday, two days after the five-time All-Star returned from a house-hunting trip to Florida.
``We had a very good conversation,'' Dumars said. ``I wished him well, and we both expressed some sorriness about the situation.''
Hill became a free agent last Saturday, but cannot sign a contract until Aug. 1.
He visited Orlando with San Antonio center-forward Tim Duncan.
``There's no guarantee first of all that Tim Duncan's going there, and I understand that,'' Hill said. ``He's got a tough decision to make.''
Hill has spent his entire career with Detroit. He averaged 25.8 points last season, third-best in the NBA.