I love Grant Hill, you love Grant Hill. But how much should we REALLY love Grant Hill?
Several times over the previous few months, posters here on Bright Side have suggested that Hill belongs in the Suns Ring of Honor. Regardless of how BAMFy the veteran medical miracle is - I just don't see it.
The Suns Ring of Honor currently consists of 9 players, a long-time athletic trainer, a head coach, and the man who has served nearly every role with the organization sans donning a pair of short shorts, Jerry Colangelo.
Perhaps it's my constant need and desire to analyze Suns franchise history but if you look at Hill's credentials he just doesn't stack up. Obviously you can't compare Hill to Joe Proski's athletic training, Cotton Fitzsimmons' coaching, or Colangelo but put him against the 9 players and it just doesn't pass the smell test.
Admission into the Suns Ring of Honor should be and is based on the accomplishment of the player while in Phoenix. Thus, Shaquille O'Neal is one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history but nobody is going to express shock when he's unable to wriggle his way into the Ring of Honor.
To give you the appropriate background, here are the current 9 and their accomplishments when they played for the Suns:
Charles Barkley, F (1992-1996)
Look at that list and then look back at Grant Hill.
You could add that Hill is a good defender who takes the other team's best player in nearly every game the Suns play but you're not taking it a whole lot further than the list above. You can't wish Suns accomplishments onto his resume - no matter how badly you might want to.
I understand that the story on Hill isn't entirely written yet - but it's close. He could theoretically lead the Suns on a miracle run to the championship this season where he's a Top 3 player on the squad and averaging his Suns high in points - but he probably won't. If we're lucky we'll get a couple more solid offensive seasons out of him combined with his flexible and unique defensive abilities - and that just won't be enough to get him enshrined.
Ask yourself this, does Hill really stack up against the current crop of Ring of Honor members?
5 of the 9 guys played 8 or more seasons with the team and 4 of those 5 made a minimum of 3 All-Star appearances in a Phoenix uniform. The 5th was Alvan Adams and he was the longest tenured Sun at 13 seasons. Even the most wild of dreamers can't imagine Hill plays another 4 seasons with the Suns so he's not going to bust into that club and strong odds are he'll never make an All-Star team as a Sun.
Then there are the 4 guys who played 6 seasons or less in Phoenix. What have we got there - an NBA MVP, a host of All-NBA selections (of all three classes), guys who were either the best player or best scorer on NBA title contenders, and the first superstar the franchise ever knew.
You can try and form an argument for why Grant Hill's tenure is similar to Charles Barkley, Connie Hawkins, Tom Chambers, or Paul Westphal but be advised that I'll probably laugh you out of the room. Then once you're out of the room I'll probably chase you down and laugh at you some more - just for my own petty amusement.
The Suns Ring of Honor is for the best of the best in franchise history - I've enjoyed Grant Hill's tenure in Phoenix as much as anyone but best of the best doesn't define him here unless you're talking about being a good guy. For my money there are only three guys deserving of induction into the Ring of Honor who aren't already there and the only reason is that they're still playing. Spoiler alert - Grant Hill doesn't compare to them either.
You might know the trio as the heart and soul of the Seven Seconds or Less era - Steve Nash, Amar'e Stoudemire, and Shawn Marion. I know you're not questioning Nash and Stoudemire's credentials and if you want to argue about Marion please google "Shawn Marion - basketball reference" real quick and get back to me.
Again, I love me some Grant Hill and think he has been a good player and a model citizen while a member of the Suns - he just doesn't deserve to be in the Suns Ring of Honor. There's no shame in that. Hill can have a job for life in the organization but something tells me he won't need it. If for some reason you do think Hill should be in the Ring of Honor, show me why - and make your argument make sense. The fact that he's a swell guy isn't enough - if it were Mark West would be enshrined.