What Andrew Bynum Could Learn From Grant Hill

Character, some say, is what you do when no one is watching. But in the NBA that isn’t quite right, is it? We put the athletes on our favorite teams on pedestals and expect them to be perfect, both on the court and off.  Perhaps more egregiously, we sometimes condone the sins of our “role models” because of their performance on the field of play. We stretch the bounds of what character means because we don’t want to have to believe our heroes are less than perfect. That the people we cheer for are somehow tainted.

Of course occasionally those players live up to these impossibly high standards. One of them, I would submit, is Phoenix Suns forward Grant Hill.

Grant Hill is known throughout the NBA as a class act, through and through. He is the only three time winner of the NBA Sportsmanship Award and during his prime Hill was also a player of transcendent talent, perhaps an all-time great. Unfortunately Hill was robbed of the opportunity to maximize his potential by the whim of fate and the fluke of injury. Yet what defines Grant Hill to me isn’t  his failures to live up to the hype,  it’s the way that he dealt with adversity in his career. When things stopped going his way, when the chips were down, when the fairy tale career started feeling like a nightmare, how did he respond?

Next Page: Going Down Hill

From everything that I’ve read, Bynum has worked his tail off to become better at nearly everything he does. I think the difference that you see is that Bynum is not an extravert, but an intravert and people, especially fans, see that as “not trying” and that is wrong. Even Kobe, who has been Bynum’s harshest critic at times, has acknowledged that Bynum has “earned his stripes”.

He’s been getting hammered in the paint and the refs aren’t calling them at all and yet he still plays under control despite a coach that occasionally calls him out. Wait and see that if injuries don’t reduce him, he will be the next great Laker center. I already believe he is one of the top 3 centers in the league because of his activity on the court – he doesn’t let down as his play recently attirbutes.

Grant Hill is one of the classiest players the league has ever seen and even at his age he still brings it every night, just like Drew. I’m tired of the Drew bashers. Don’t forget, he came into the league at a very young age, just barely old enough to drive a car. Hill went to UNC and had a great coach to help him grow into the man he is today. These differences cannot be denied and yet there are people that bash Drew for one reason or another – mostly injuries, which even Hill couldn’t avoid and denied him the greatness that he probably would have achieved if they hadn’t happened.

The Lakers haven’t traded Drew despite continued interest by many clubs and I see him, unless injuries force it another way, as being the successor to Kobe as the superstar of this team.

  • I agree with alot of what you are saying but I must disagree with you on one point,Grant Hill did not go to UNC but to Duke.

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