Found March 20, 2012 on Fox Sports Florida:
Sports_day_ffd9
MIAMI -- When Grant Hill showed up in Phoenix in 2007, he thought he would play two more years and retire. So much for that plan. Hill, 39, is in his fifth season with the Suns. And the small forward said before Tuesday's game against Miami at AmericanAmerican Arena he plans to be back next season for another one. "I definitely think I can go another year, maybe two," Hill said. "If the season were to end right now, and I would sort of evaluate the season, I would definitely want to come back and play next season." Hill, averaging 10.4 points, signed a one-year, 6.5 million deal with Phoenix before the season. He hopes to end his career with the Suns. "Yeah," Hill said. "Hopefully, they feel the same way." Hill turns 40 on Oct. 5, making him the second-oldest player in the NBA after Portland's Kurt Thomas, who is one day older. His longevity is pretty impressive considering Hill was devastated by ankle injuries when playing from Orlando from 2000-07, and didn't figure he would stick around Phoenix too long after playing his first game for the Suns at 35. "When I came out to Phoenix, I was thinking I would play two years and retire, and I'm in my fifth year," Hill said. "So I didn't anticipate being healthy and feeling this good and still enjoying playing. I'll keep going until I can't go or it's not fun any more. But it's still a lot of fun for me." So those in Orlando can be assured Hill's appearance Wednesday against the Magic at Amway Arena won't be his last game there. "It's still where I live in the summer," Hill said of Orlando. "I played with some of their guys, Hedo (Turkoglu), Jameer (Nelson) and Dwight (Howard) when they were young players when I was there. So I enjoy going back there." Another former Magic player will return with the Suns to Orlando in center Marcin Gortat. He's learned from Hill in the 15 months he's spent with him in Phoenix. "He's a true professional," Gordat said. "He's a true role model. He's the first guy in the gym and the last to leave." All that hard work is why Hill has a chance to go where no perimeter player has in NBA history. While big men Kevin Willis, Robert Parish and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar all played past their 42nd birthdays, no perimeter player has made it that far. Guard John Stockton lasted until one month past his 41st birthday. So Hill would have to play in 2013-14 to top Stockton, which Hill believes is possible. "I've just learned to take care of myself, eat right and make the sacrifices necessary to go out and play," Hill said. "I saw (former teammate Detroit teammate) Joe Dumars the other day. I used to look at him as old at 33. So I must be really, really old. But I enjoy it. It keeps me young. I still compete. I can't do what I could in my early 20s, but I still can go out and help the team and be productive." Count on Hill doing that for at least another year. Maybe for two more. Chris Tomasson can be reached at christomasson@hotmail.com or on Twitter @christomasson
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