They came in together and they left together.
It was appropriate that Grant Hill and Jason Kidd both retired days apart. Their careers have been intertwined and relatable in different ways since the early 1990s.
In 1993, the California Golden Bears upset the defending champion Duke Blue Devils in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Cal was led by a freshman point guard by the name of Jason Kidd, who scored 11 points and dished out 14 assists. Hill scored 18 points for Duke that day.
Kidd was selected second by the Dallas Mavericks and Grant Hill third by the Detroit Pistons in the 1994 draft. The two ended up splitting the Rookie of the Year award.
Both players spent part of their careers as elite players at their position and transformed into successful role players, something that a lot of NBA players refuse to do.
Don’t let anyone tell you Hill wasn’t at one time an elite player on his way to being an all-time great. Here are his numbers from his first six seasons before suffering a career-changing ankle injury: