Beset by injuries in career, Hill considers retirement

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Seven-time All-Star Grant Hill, whose
career was slowed by a recurring ankle injury, is contemplating retirement.

Hill scored 17 points on 7-of-8 shooting in Orlando's 97-93 season-ending loss to Detroit on Saturday, then said he planned to take a couple of months off to "see if some of the lingering pains go away" before deciding whether to play again.

"We'll see how I feel in June and July," Hill said. "The desire, of course, is to always play. But you don't want to live on anti-inflammatories and so forth. We'll just see, at least in my case, how I feel."

Hill signed a seven-year, $93 million contract with the Magic in 2000, just a few months after having surgery to repair a broken left ankle. He was supposed to team with Tracy McGrady and give Orlando one of the best scoring tandems in the league.

It never quite worked out as planned.

Hill played just 200 regular-season games in seven years, meaning he earned $465,000 per game played with the Magic.

In his first three years in Orlando, Hill played four, 14 and 29 games before having season-ending surgery. He sat out his entire fourth season (2003-04) after a fifth ankle surgery.

He bounced back to play 67 games the following season, but he spent the final seven games on the injured list because of a bruised shin.

Although his ankle felt fine, he sat out most of last season following surgery to repair a sports hernia. So this year marked the first time Hill has played through the closing part of any season with the Magic.

"Right now, I feel pretty good and I'm excited to have played in my last game of the season," Hill said. "As dejected as I am and we are as a team, to be able to walk off the court is a good thing. But 82 games is a long season. We'll see. We'll see how I feel."

Hill, who will turn 35 in October, averaged 14.4 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 65 games this season.

If he does return, he said he hopes it will be with Orlando.

"I'd like to," Hill said. "Hopefully, I'm in the plans here. But right now, it's just about whether or not I want to play. Once I decide that, then hopefully [general manager] Otis Smith and them will have a spot for me."