It’s been a humbling week for Hall of Fame forward Grant Hill in South Florida, while the Miami Heat-Philadelphia 76ers Eastern Conference semifinal playoff series has been called as an analyst for TNT’s national television coverage.
As he went to his courtside seat to help call Monday night’s Game 1 at the FTX Arena, he found himself crossing paths with Mickey Arison and Madeleine Arison.
As in the owner of Heat and his wife.
As a couple, who celebrated the Heat’s first-round exit to the Atlanta Hawks a week earlier.
The team in which Hill holds an ownership stake as well as an executive role.
“I sat next to Mr. Arison and his wife before the game and I congratulated them on an impressive first round,” Hill told the South Florida Sun Sentinel, “and told them they would at least give us one more game.” Could have made it interesting.”
Instead of a 4-1 heat, with Hill and those associated with the Hawks left with the harsh realities of what could be next for Atlanta, a team that will be No. 9 this season after advancing to the 2021 Eastern Conference Finals. Fell on the seed.
“Look,” Hill said, “we had a lot of expectations. We didn’t have the year, at least the first half of the season, and then we matched with a team that was really good at executing their game plan and working for us.” She was brilliant at making life difficult.
“And so it’s back to the drawing board and learn from it and hope to get better next season.”
And, no, Hill said, there was no animosity when it came to this Heat assignment in the best-of-seven series, part of the special national broadcast.
“I don’t have a problem there,” he said, “and it has no effect on my ability to call the game fair.”
So back it was for Tuesday night’s Game 2, with a relentless commitment to fairness.
Hill, in fact, laughed about his notion of fairness, possibly being challenged after one of his toughest assignments, the legendary and loyal former Duke Blue Devil, in this year’s NCAA Final Four over Duke of North Carolina. called the 81-77 victory. Tournament.
“Look,” he said, “there’s nothing harder than winning Duke v. North Carolina and North Carolina and paying your respects to the Tar Heels and really honoring and celebrating that achievement, which was a great honor for Hubert Davis. Had an incredible run. Year, and that team.
“I think I learned that you wear your hat, and you have different roles, and so you have to do one thing.”
Similarly, he said that he took up this TNT assignment with appreciation for what the Heat achieved in the first round against their Hawks.
He said he was also duly impressed when he called the Heat’s Game 1 victory over the 76ers on Monday night.
“Game 1, Miami, especially that third quarter, was really impressive, the defense, the intensity, the effort, the depth that was on display,” he said.
So whether it’s their team defeating the Blue Devils or their team taking out the Hawks, he said, that’s just part of the job.
“The job,” he said, “is to explain and acknowledge a team’s strengths and weaknesses.”