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Grant Hill Says He Regrets Rejecting The Lakers In 2007: "Phil Jackson Was Calling Me, Called Me 3 Times And I Didn't Call Him Back"

Grant Hill Says He Regrets Rejecting The Lakers In 2007: "Phil Jackson Was Calling Me, Called Me 3 Times And I Didn't Call Him Back"

Grant Hill is one of the biggest what-if stories over the last 25 odd years in the NBA. A superstar in the making during his time with the Detroit Pistons, Hill was plagued by ankle injuries during the mid-2000s and he never quite fulfilled that early promise he showed, which had led to him being dubbed by fans as the next Michael Jordan.

It speaks to Hill's talent that despite those injuries, he remained a solid contributor for most of his career, and when he hit free agency in 2007, there was a fair amount of interest for his services around the league. Hill chose the Phoenix Suns and while he enjoyed his time there, he never won a title with them, with a Western Conference Final in 2010 being as close as he got. The Suns lost to the Los Angeles Lakers that year and on The Old Man & the Three podcast, Hill expressed some regret over choosing the Suns over them in 2007.

"One of the regrets I have and I loved my time in Phoenix. When I left Orlando, I was a free agent and we can get into what happened there but Phil Jackson was calling me, called me 3 times and I didn't call him back. Because I just thought oh LA they're done. You know Kobe, he's off the reservation, he was coming out against Bynum, they imploded in the playoffs. I ended up going to Phoenix and I was healthy out there,"

"That (Pau Gasol trade) was a game-changer no question. Because before that trade we were number one in the West in Phoenix and then they made that trade and all of a sudden you know they're the real deal."

Pau Gasol was a game-changer for the Lakers as Hill mentioned there. The Suns had actually eliminated the Lakers from the playoffs in 2006 & 2007 so it is easy to see why Hill opted for what seemed like the better team.

In hindsight of course, had he chosen the Lakers, he'd have gone on to win back-to-back titles in 2009 & 2010. It is another what-if in a career full of what-ifs for Hill.