Marcus Smart has the utmost respect for Grant Hill. The small forward was one of those players labeled as 'the next Jordan' thanks to his talents on the court. Although injuries prevented him from fulfilling his potential, Hill did plenty of good things during his best days, catching the attention of plenty of fans.
One of those was Marcus Smart, who recently reminded people of how great Hill was. Talking on an episode of UNINTERRUPTED's Respect Your OGs, the Boston Celtics point guard praised Grant, calling him 'LeBron before LeBron.'
One thing great athletes have to have is a competitive fire and that's something I know all about. That edge, that grit, that grind. When I think of someone who showed me what it was like to have that fire, I think of Grant Hill, the true definition of OG.
Like me, Grant was born with the competitive spirit. One that sent him to the top of the league, and he had everything an athlete should embody. Strength, resolve, resilience, all of that on top of overcoming ridiculous obstacles on the road to building his legacy. Believe or not, there was a time where you couldn't walk through a school hallway or a blacktop court in any city without seeing somebody rocking his Pistons jersey. He was LeBron before LeBron.
Hill is one of the biggest 'what-ifs' in NBA history. He was considered an excellent candidate to take the torch from Michael Jordan, but his body didn't accompany him. He still had a good career, collecting individual honors, but we never watched him playing at the highest level.
The good news is that he impacted players like Smart. He is not letting young players disrespect or forget about Hill, which is great.