Grant Hill

Grant Hill To Become Managing Director Of USA Basketball

Basketball legend Grant Hill will succeed Jerry Colangelo as the new managing director of USA Basketball’s men’s team following the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, per a press release issued on Saturday (via The AP’s Tim Reynolds).

Hill, 48, will assume the role with a resume that includes 19 NBA seasons and seven All-Star team selections. He was a member of the 2018 Basketball Hall of Fame class and helped lead Team USA to a gold medal in the 1996 Olympics.

“It’s just an incredible opportunity, also an incredible challenge,” Hill said. “I had the good fortune of participating in international play — the Pan American Games, of course the Olympic team — and I have been a fan of Team USA going back to the 1984 Olympic team when I first started to fall in love with basketball. The more I thought about it, the more intrigued, excited and the more willing I was to roll up my sleeves and move forward with this awesome responsibility.”

It will be no easy task for Hill replacing Colangelo, who joined USA Basketball in 2005 as managing director after Team USA won the bronze medal in 2004. The former Suns owner helped shaped the program for years to come, selecting players and coaches to help USA Basketball compete for gold.

For three consecutive Olympics (2008, 2012, 2016), Team USA took home gold medals led by Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, and will play under current Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich in Tokyo. Hill intends to work closely with Colangelo during the Tokyo Olympics in preparation for taking over the reins.

“I intend to spend an incredible amount of time with Jerry, shadow him some this summer, and I think that experience will certainly help as we move forward,” Hill said. “He’s just an invaluable resource and has done a remarkable job, so you can’t help but learn from someone like Jerry.”

Per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link), talks about Hill succeeding Colangelo had been ongoing for months. NBA commissioner Adam Silver was a “big proponent” of Hill’s candidacy for the position, Wojnarowski adds.

Hill, who has worked as an analyst for Turner Sports covering the NBA and NCAA, will remain in that role after taking over the Team USA job, Reynolds reports. In the meantime, he is focused on the challenge of building and sustaining a winning national team.

“The brain is working,” Hill said.

Ray Allen, 12 Others Selected To 2018 Hall Of Fame Class

Two-time NBA champion and 10-time All-Star Ray Allen was among 13 names selected by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame for enshrinement as part of the 2018 Hall of Fame Class.

In his 18-year career, Allen set the record for most three-point field goals made with 2,973 and is ranked sixth on the all-time free throw percentage list with an .894 mark. Allen, 42, was drafted by the Bucks fifth overall in the 1996 NBA Draft and spent his first six-and-a-half seasons in Milwaukee. After a four-and-a-half year run with the then-Supersonics, Allen joined the Celtics, capturing his first of two NBA titles in 2008.

The University of Connecticut product joined the Heat for his final two seasons, capturing his second championship in 2013. Allen sank several clutch treys in Game 6 and Game 7 of the 2013 NBA Finals, leading the Heat to the title.

As we relayed earlier this week, Jason KiddSteve Nash, Grant HillMaurice Cheeks, and Rod Thorn were selected to the Hall of Fame. You can read detailed descriptions of their careers from our February report of 13 finalists being selected for the Hall of Fame.

Three-time Olympic gold medalist Katie Smith,  four-time WNBA Champion Tina Thompson, long-time Maryland coach Charles “Lefty” Driesell, Dino Radja, Charlie Scott, Ora Mae Washington, and Rick Welts were also selected.

Hill, Kidd, Nash, Cheeks Headed To Hall Of Fame

2:24pm: Rod Thorn, who spent years as a coach and executive and worked for the league office, will also be inducted, Wojnarowski tweets.

10:55am: Former Sixers point guard Maurice Cheeks will also be inducted this year, according to Wojnarowski (Twitter link). Cheeks was a four-time All-Star and a five-time selection to the All-Defensive Team. He won an NBA title in 1983.

10:33am: Three NBA greats will be part of the Class of 2018 for the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. Grant Hill, Jason Kidd and Steve Nash have all received notice that they will be among the inductees, although the formal announcement won’t be made until this weekend.

The third pick in the 1994 draft, Hill shared Rookie of the Year honors with Kidd. He was a seven-time All-Star, a first-team all-NBA selection in 1997 and a second-team choice four other times. He was also part of the gold medal team at the 1996 Summer Olympics.

Kidd was a 10-time All-Star who is recognized as one of the top point guards of his era. He was a five-time choice to the all-NBA first team and led the league in assists in five seasons. He won Olympic gold medals in 2000 and 2008 and captured an NBA title with the Mavericks in 2011.

Nash is one of a handful of players to be named MVP in consecutive seasons. He was an eight-time All-Star, a five-time all-NBA first-team selection and a five-time assists leader. Nash also has a strong presence in international basketball as a former player and current GM for the Canadian national team.

Nash, Kidd, Allen Headline 13 Hall Of Fame Finalists

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame has announced 13 finalists to be considered for election to the Hall of Fame in 2018. The list includes six first-time finalists, including likely first-ballot hall-of-famers Ray Allen, Jason Kidd, and Steve Nash, as well as Grant Hill, three-time Olympic gold medalist Katie Smith and four-time WNBA Champion Tina Thompson.

Among the seven other finalists are four-time NBA All-Star Maurice Cheeks, two-time NBA Champion coach Rudy Tomjanovich, and five-time NBA All-Star Chris Webber. Rounding out the list are long-time Maryland coach Charles “Lefty” Driesell, 28-year NBA referee Hugh Evans, two-time NCAA National Championship Coach of Baylor Kim Mulkey, and 10-time AAU National Champions Wayland Baptist University.

The Class of 2018 will be announced on Saturday, March 31 at a press conference in San Antonio prior to the NCAA Men’s Final Four. Let’s now take a look at some more information on the six former NBA stars up for election as players.

  • Steve Nash – Played in the NBA for 19 seasons, earning MVP honors in both 2005 and 2006. An eight-time All-Star and an All-NBA First Team member in 2005, 2006, and 2007. Nash also holds the NBA record for highest career free throw percentage (.904) and had four seasons with a shooting line of .500/.400/.900, the most in NBA history.
  • Jason Kidd – During his 18-year NBA career, he earned All-NBA First Team honors five times and was named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team four times. He is a 10-time NBA All-Star while also ranking second on the NBA all-time steals list (2,684) and all-time assists list (12,091).
  • Ray Allen – A two-time NBA Champion, Allen was selected to the All-Star game 10 times during his 18-year career. He is still the all-time NBA leader in three-point field goals made (2,973) and is ranked sixth on the all-time free throw percentage list (.894).
  • Grant Hill – A 19-year NBA veteran, a seven-time NBA All-Star, and a member of the All-NBA First Team in 1997, Hill was also a member of two NCAA national championship teams (1991, 1992) at Duke and a gold medal recipient at the 1996 Olympic Games.
  • Chris Webber –Webber is a five-time NBA All-Star and the 1994 NBA Rookie of the Year. He earned All-NBA First Team honors in 2001 and averaged more than 20 points per game for nine consecutive seasons from the mid-90’s to the early 00’s.
  • Maurice Cheeks – A four-time NBA All-Star (1983, 1986-1988) and four-time NBA All-Defensive team selection, Cheeks was also a member of the 1983 NBA Champion Philadelphia 76ers.

David Griffin, Joe Dumars On Hawks’ Radar?

Having restructured their front office, the Hawks are in the market for a new top basketball executive, and according to Marc Stein of (via Twitter), league sources suggest that David Griffin and Joe Dumars are expected to emerge as candidates for that job.

Mike Budenholzer had previously served as the president of basketball operations in Atlanta, but relinquished that title and will simply be the club’s head coach going forward. Meanwhile, Wes Wilcox was the Hawks’ general manager, but will now serve as a special advisor to team ownership. Both Budenholzer and Wilcox are expected to have a say in personnel decisions, but the Hawks are on the lookout for someone who will have the final say.

Griffin has emerged as the most popular front office target around the league early in the 2017 offseason. Despite playing a significant role in building the Cavaliers’ roster, the GM is on an expiring deal with the defending champs, and contract talks between the two sides have reportedly stalled. That has opened the door for rival suitors to prepare pitches for Griffin. In addition to the Hawks, the Magic are believed to have the Cavs GM high on their wish list, though those teams won’t be able to talk to him until Cleveland’s season ends.

As for Dumars, the Pistons’ former president of basketball operations stepped down from that role in 2014. During his time in Detroit, he helped lead the club to a 595–536 (.527) regular-season record, 73 postseason wins, and an NBA championship in 2004, and was named Executive of the Year in 2003. In recent years, he has been linked most frequently to the Pelicans’ front office, should New Orleans decide to shake things up.

As Stein observes (via Twitter), Hawks minority owner Grant Hill, who was expected to have a hand in the team’s search for a new executive, has ties to both Griffin and Dumars. Griffin worked in the Suns’ basketball operations department when Hill was in Phoenix as a player, and Dumars played with Hill in Detroit.

Earlier today, Hawks principal owner Tony Ressler said that he hopes to have a GM in place before June’s draft, though he has confidence in the current basketball operations department to handle things in the coming weeks. Ressler added that he hopes Wilcox remains with the Hawks in his new role, admitting that the former GM will have many other options around the NBA (all Twitter links via David Aldridge of

Magic Rumors: G. Hill, Wright, Cousins, Hennigan

Shortly after the Magic fired general manager Rob Hennigan this morning, Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel reported that team officials have interest in pursuing Grant Hill as a potential president of basketball operations. Marc Stein of confirms Orlando’s interest in Hill, but tweets that the former Magic forward currently has no plans to leave the Hawks‘ ownership group.

As we wait to see if Hill’s stance changes, here are several more Magic-related notes, with a focus on today’s front office shakeup:

  • Spurs assistant GM Brian Wright is on the Magic‘s preliminary list of potential GM candidates, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical. Wojnarowski also notes that the leaked white board that went viral last week ultimately didn’t affect Orlando’s decision to replace Hennigan — the team had already decided to move on from him at that point.
  • Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated and Sam Amick of USA Today expressed surprise that the Magic dismissed assistant GM Scott Perry along with Hennigan (Twitter links). Both reporters note that the two men had different voices in the front office, suggesting that Perry would have likely been able to complete a trade for DeMarcus Cousins if Hennigan had been on board with it.
  • Although Hennigan didn’t have a ton of success in Orlando, he remains widely respected around the NBA and will likely have “attractive offers” to choose from when he looks for a new job, tweets Jonathan Givony of
  • In non-Hennigan news, the Magic‘s D-League affiliate, which will begin play next season, will be called the Lakeland Magic, as Robbins details for The Sentinel.

Magic Fire GM Rob Hennigan

With their offseason now underway, the Magic have started making changes in their front office, firing general manager Rob Hennigan, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical (via Twitter). The team also dismissed assistant GM Scott Perry, according to Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel (Twitter link).Rob Hennigan vertical

“We appreciate Rob’s efforts to rebuild the team, but feel we have not made any discernible improvement over the last few years specifically,” Magic CEO Alex Martins said in a statement. “It’s time for different leadership in basketball operations.  We certainly wish Rob and his family well.”

Hennigan was considered to be on the hot seat for much of this season, as his flurry of moves a year ago failed to lead to tangible on-court improvement for the Magic. An eventful 2016 offseason saw Orlando trade for Serge Ibaka, then sign Bismack Biyombo, D.J. Augustin, and Jeff Green in free agency.

The franchise had playoff aspirations to start the year, but lost its opener to the Heat, and never got back above .500. Orlando’s spot in the standings prompted the team to flip Ibaka to the Raptors before February’s trade deadline, and Hennigan and the front office were widely criticized for giving up far more for Ibaka last summer than they got back for him at the deadline.

Hennigan’s seat likely became hotter in recent weeks after a photo taken by Patricio Garino‘s agent that showed an apparent list of Orlando’s offseason targets on a dry-erase board went viral. Hennigan insisted that the leaked white board wasn’t indicative of the Magic’s summer plans, and that it was just a list of possible options for the team, but it wasn’t a great look for a management group that was already under fire.

2016/17 was the fifth straight season that the Magic finished with a losing record, dating back to 2012/13, Hennigan’s first year at the helm. During Hennigan’s five years as Orlando’s GM, the team posted a 132-278 record (.322). The club has employed four different head coaches during that time, never winning more than 35 games in a season or earning a spot in the playoffs.

With Hennigan no longer in the mix in Orlando, the Magic have named Matt Lloyd as the interim general manager, the club confirmed (via Twitter). Lloyd will be in the mix for the permanent job, though he won’t be the only candidate considered.

According to Robbins, Magic officials have interest in Grant Hill as a potential president of basketball operations. Robbins adds that Pistons associate GM Pat Garrity and Warriors assistant GM Travis Schlenk could also be among the executives targeted by Orlando.

There were rumblings earlier this year that Doc Rivers could consider jumping to the Magic in a head coach/president of basketball operations role, but that seems like a long shot — Rivers dismissed the idea at the time. For now, Frank Vogel remains the head coach in Orlando, and he just finished the first year of a four-year contract, so a new GM may be reluctant to make a change unless the Magic are willing to eat a significant chunk of money.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Hawks Notes: Cotton, Splitter, Hill

The Hawks may have competition if they’re interested in bringing Bryce Cotton to training camp, according to Orazio Cauchi of Sportando. Anadolu Efes in Turkey and Khimki in Russia both have interest in the free agent point guard, who had brief stints with the Suns and Grizzlies last season. Atlanta is three players below the league limit, and Cotton was recently mentioned as a potential training camp signee by Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The 24-year-old played for Atlanta’s summer league team and impressed team officials by averaging 12.8 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.4 assists in five games.

Here’s more news out of Atlanta:

  • Tiago Splitter plans to be ready for training camp after offseason hip surgery, Vivlamore tweets. The Hawks were hoping Splitter would be a valuable backup big man after acquiring him in a trade with the Spurs last summer, but repeated problems with his right hip forced him to opt for surgery in mid-February. Splitter managed just 36 games with the Hawks, averaging 5.6 points and 3.3 rebounds in a little more than 16 minutes per night. The 31-year-old is entering the final year of his contract.
  • Former NBA star Grant Hill is seeing the game from a new perspective as a partial owner of the Hawks, writes A.J. Neuharth-Keusch of USA Today. Hill is part of the ownership group led by Tony Ressler that purchased the team in April of 2015. Hill serves as vice chair of the board and says he wants to do “something amazing” for Atlanta. “Ownership and the idea of ownership is something that I’ve thought about for quite some time, going back to my early days and my early years in the NBA playing in Detroit,” Hill said. “Just understanding from when I was young … how powerful sports can be, and how it can inspire people, how it can bring people together. It can really galvanize a community, a city, and that’s a huge responsibility.

Arthur Hill contributed to this post.

Southeast Notes: Hawks, Zeller, Gordon

Veteran guard Ben Gordon became the odd man out in the Magic‘s rotation once James Borrego took over as the team’s interim coach, Ken Hornack of FOX Sports Florida writes. Borrego preferred to see what the backcourt pairing of Victor Oladipo and Elfrid Payton could accomplish, which left Gordon on the outside looking in, Hornack notes. Gordon’s $4.5MM salary for 2015/16 is non-guaranteed. In 56 games this season Gordon averaged 6.2 points and 1.1 rebounds in 14.1 minutes per contest.

Here’s more out of the Southeast Division:

  • Hornets big man Cody Zeller had successful surgery today to repair damage to his right shoulder, Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer reports (Twitter link). The 22-year-old appeared in 62 contests for Charlotte this season, averaging 7.6 points and 5.8 rebounds in 24.0 minutes per game. Zeller is expected to resume basketball activities in three months.
  • Grant Hill‘s presence as part of the Hawks‘ new ownership group could aid GM Danny Ferry in retaining his position within the organization, Tim Bontemps of The New York Post opines (Twitter link). Ferry and Hill have ties through Duke University, which both men attended, Bontemps notes.
  • Jon Krawczynski of The Associated Press tweeted that Hill’s involvement with the Ressler group should provide a good indicator of how Kevin Garnett could function as part of the Wolves’ ownership when he retires. Garnett has acknowledged an interest in buying the Wolves at some point, and owner Glen Taylor said that his return as a player enhanced his chances of becoming a part-owner.
  • Heat rookie point guard Shabazz Napier showed promise during his rookie season, but needs to be a more consistent player moving forward, Surya Fernandez of FOX Sports Florida writes in his profile of the player.

Bryan Colangelo, Grant Hill, Others Eye Hawks

2:39pm: Itzler is teaming with brokerage firm founder Steven Starker and has “extreme interest,” though he cautioned that it’s just preliminary, as he told Scott Soshnick and Zeke Faux of Vivlamore reported Wednesday (below) that Itzler was seeking only a minority share.

2:22pm: Bryan Colangelo is part of the group with Hill and Bridgeman, Aldridge clarifies (on Twitter).

THURSDAY, 2:19pm: Hill and fellow former player Junior Bridgeman are teaming up to try to purchase the Hawks, with Jerry Colangelo, Bryan’s father, acting a “senior advisor” to them, TNT’s David Aldridge reports (Twitter link). It’s unclear if Bryan is a part of the Hill-Bridgeman group. The Hawks officially put the entire team as well as Phillips Arena up for sale today, the club announced via press release.

WEDNESDAY, 10:29am: Former Suns and Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo, Grizzlies minority owner Steve Kaplan and casino mogul Sheldon Adelson are some of those who’ve expressed interest in purchasing the Hawks, reports Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Grant Hill is also in the mix, Vivlamore hears, confirming earlier speculation. The owners of Atlanta’s WNBA team, Kelly Loeffler and Mary Brock, also hold a level of interest in bidding for the Hawks, along with their husbands, Jeffrey Sprecher and John Brock, as they recently told Maria Saporta of the Atlanta Business Chronicle for a subscription-only piece (hat tip to Vivlamore).

Colangelo appeared to be linked to a group of Chicago-based investors who came up short in a bid for the Bucks last year, and he was also reportedly a candidate for Cavs and Pistons front office jobs in the spring. Hawks GM Danny Ferry is on an indefinite leave of absence. Kaplan’s role within the Grizzlies hierarchy reportedly shrunk during the team’s reorganization this past offseason.

Jesse Itzler, whom Grantland’s Bill Simmons identified Monday as a “name to watch” in regard to the sale of the Hawks, is currently interested only in a minority share, sources tell Vivlamore. Simmons also reported that investors Chris Hansen and Thomas Tull are mounting separate bids to buy the team and move it to Seattle, but it appears unlikely they’ll be allowed to relocate the franchise. The NBA’s stance has been that it will only consider moving a team if the market has essentially given up on the club, and that’s not the case in Atlanta, as Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders points out via Twitter.

Former players Dominique Wilkins, Dikembe Mutombo and Chris Webber, former Grizzlies CEO Jason Levien and attorney Doug Davis are others who reportedly have interest in purchasing the Hawks, though some would probably have to find partners to have control over a majority stake. The three ownership groups who currently own the Hawks have all agreed to sell, and the team is set to officially go on the market in a matter of days, according to Vivlamore. The purchase price is likely to end up on the low end of a range between $750MM and $1 billion, as Grantland’s Zach Lowe reported last week.