As part of the Magic's ongoing Legends Night series in honor of the franchise's 25th Anniversary, the Magic will honor former Magic All Star Grant Hill at Tuesday's game between the Magic and the Trail Blazers.
Hill will be recognized between the first and second quarters with a video tribute and presentation at center court. He will then join the Fox Sports Florida telecast for parts of the second quarter. Hill will also be on Magic Drive Time with Dante Marchitelli on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. on 740TheGame in Orlando.
Grant Hill signed with the Magic in 2000 after the team cleared cap room through the Heart & Hustle team. He was to join Tracy McGrady and be part of a new Michael Jordan-Scottie Pippen style backcourt to dominate the Eastern Conference. Even with Tim Duncan deciding not to join the Magic's new super team, many believed the pairing would be a good one.
Problems arose almost immediately however since Hill came off the airplane on crutches. That would foreshadow seven years in orlando filled with injury after injury.
He played just 18 games in his first two years in Orlando. That put the mantle entirely on Tracy McGrady to carry the team. He did, but only as far as a brief Playoff appearance. Hill never joined him in the postseason.
In six years playing, Hill made 200 appearances. He averaged 16.4 points per game, 5.0 rebounds per game and 3.1 assists per game. He shot 50.0 percent from the floor. He had a solid 18.6 PER with the Magic.
He just did not play very often. He did not hit 50 games in a single season with the Magic until 2005 and had only one other season playing in that many ames. His lone Playoff appearance in a Magic uniform came in his final year, a 2007 sweep at the hands of the Pistons.
Honoring Hill is an interesting decision from teh Magic. Many Orlando fans are upset that HIll never played and hamstrung the cap during McGrady's glory years, even if Hill had very little control over it. When he decided to leave the team for Phoenix in 2007, fans were upset he did not return at a discount (even though the Magic under Stan Van Gundy seemed happy to let him walk).
The reception Hill will get from the Magic fans on Tuesday will be interesting to say the least.
Still, Hill did some good things in orlando, mostly off the court. He won the Rich and Helen DeVos Community Enrichment Award during the 2001-02 season. He did plenty of other projects in and around Orlando for the community and was a model citizen.