Raise your hand if you thought Grant Hill would still be playing high-level NBA ball in 2011. Did you put your hand up? Impressive. Now put it down and quit lyin'. Somehow though, even through the adversity of multiple would-be career-ending injuries, Grant Hill has made the rare transition from superstar to ultimate team player. And even on the cusp of 40, he continues to contribute. The son of Yale grad and former NFL player Calvin Hill, Grant showed promise on the court moreso than the gridiron — it helped that he grew to 6'8". Hill attended Duke and helped win a title in ’91 which included one of the greatest alley-oops, a title in ’92 thanks to his 75-foot toss to Laettner in the Regional Finals, National Defensive Player of the Year in ’93, and ACC Player of the Year in ’94. After staying all four years and earning his degree, Hill was selected third overall in the '94 Draft by the Detroit Pistons. He became the first rookie since Zeke to score 1000 points in his rookie season and shared Rookie of the Year honors with Jason Kidd.
As soon as he hit the league, Hill established a very successful signature shoe line with Italian brand Fila, taking the brand to new heights on the court and, just as importantly, in the streets. A few years into the NBA and Hill’s popularity was so crazy that many people forget he was the leading vote getter for the All-Star Game in both his rookie and sophomore campaigns — topping Shaq in ‘95 and even MJ himself when he returned for ‘96. In 1997 Fila offered Grant $80 million to continue to be the face of Fila. You know the story, Hill wasn’t winning games in Detroit and decided to flee for greener grass in Orlando. The plan was to team up with T-Mac and dominate the East. Instead, injuries hampered him for the next six years as McGrady became a superstar. In 2007, Hill signed with the Phoenix Suns and is currently one of the greatest role players in the game. To celebrate Hill’s 39th birthday (October 5th), Complex takes you through Grant Hill’s Greatest Sneaker Moments.