Article by John
If only there had to be an award on how a player could turn his career upside down and then later downside up, it has to be given to George Hill, the young point guard from San Antonio Spurs. Drafted into the team last season, Hill showed some of his worst performances then. Where is he heading to? South Ossetia possibly, to play baseball there! This seemed to be the rant for many players in the camp.
Clearly, Hill seemed to look like a deer caught in Vegas lights. Absolutely unsure, the poor chap kept on holding on to the ball until someone from the opposition team dispossessed him. Worse still, he would not even come back to retrieve the ball for his teammates. If that is not a deer in Vegas lights, then what is? Hill’s teammates sum it up the best, “When we play, we aim to pass the ball from A to B. But with Hill around the corner, you don’t have B, there is only A.”
Arguments for the defense of Hill are precious few. One of the things summarizing the disappointing performance of Hill was that he was learning a new position. So what? Does that mean you compromise on the team’s game plan? The other logic is that he was a new pick, and normally these guys do take some time getting accustomed to the play conditions. Okay, that sounds like a reasonable explanation!
But 2 shoots of 25 games! That record definitely is no explanation for the guy being new. Worse still, being a point guard you cannot play defense watching the likes of Ginobili moving up the ranks and attacking. This best summarized a rather forgetful season for George Hill, and as Gregg Propovich, another point guard for the Spurs puts it aptly, “It will be good for Hill if he forgets that time of his life, else he would soon be relegated to South Ossetia.”
A year before when Hill took to the field with Gregg replacing Tony Parker, all he could do was shoot down 7 points and enable five assists. Rest of the time – He was playing defense. How one year could change a player? Today, he seems to have learnt the art of playing a point guard. And he is doing well. Maybe, the thought of going to a war-torn region to play basketball there was something that got Hill focused on his duties!
Maybe, some dressing down by the coach and the management did the trick. The irony of the fact is – Gregg Popovich can’t help his smile when he thinks of Hill’s misfortune a year back. And so do his teammates. But now that things stand rectified, everyone can laugh heartily! On the back of some Black Sea Geopolitics, dare I say!
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