Remember Steven Hill? The 7-foot center out of Arkansas who has averaged 3.6 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.3 blocks over the course of his NBA Development League career? The guy who, other than that, has played in just one regular season NBA game and been cut from the Portland Trail Blazers and Chicago Bulls preseason rosters since embarking on his professional basketball career?
Well, baby, he's back!
The wonderful Ben Golliver of Blazersedge titled his afternoon Hill feature The Triumphant Return Of Steven Hill and even got some good quotes out of Hill regarding his time in the D-League.
Hill says the D-League worked well for him as a way to stay in front of talent evaluators. "A couple of years ago I was a borderline guy with the Thunder," he explains. "I went down to the D-League, keeps me here in front of people. I was on a team in Tulsa where the coaches put a big emphasis on development. Hence the name, obviously. I look at it as a place to get better."
Blazers GM Rich Cho speaks highly of Hill's work ethic and personality and Hill says it's good to feel wanted. "I know Rich from Tulsa, he was over the minor league operations from Oklahoma City and also when I was in Oklahoma City. I feel real comfortable with him, how he likes to run things, what he expects and hopefully he can know a little bit about what to expect from me too."
Matt Moore, who used to write here but now writes everywhere else (literally), of course loves Steven Hill because he loves people like Steven Hill.
YOU GUYS, HE EVEN TALKS LIKE A DUDE FROM THE OZARKS! Seriously, give him a dip, some cammo, and have him put me in a headlock and he could have been one of my classmates. Some stuff you should be aware of, since this time, he's going to stick. Seriously. The Blazers have no centers. I'm expecting Marcus Camby to get bit by the monkey from Outbreak at this point. He's sticking. The fans love him. And hey, he's from Branson Missouri, went to school in Fayetteville, Arkansas. He's good folk, as we say down yonder.
Dan Devine of Ball Don't Lie fame also wrote about Steven Hill, welcoming him back into the foray and even noticing his newly-toned physique.
And hey, by the way: You look great. Have you been working out?
I thought so. You can tell. Really toned. And not in a way where it looks like you've been trying so hard to make people see that you've been working out, if that makes sense. I don't know, I'm probably totally babbling, but I'm just so glad to see you!
The only negative writing I found about Hill wasn't even about Steven Hill but instead about some random dude named Stephen Hill that Kurt Helin from ProBasketballTalk wrote about:
Hill is a 7'0" center out of Arkansas who played on the Blazers' Summer League team back in 2008 and had a cup of coffee with the Thunder two seasons ago. He will not stick, he is there for camp only, but maybe he can jump start his hoops career again.
Seeing as Helin got the rest of his facts straight, I can only imagine that he thinks Stephen/Steven is just like Steve/Stefan Urkel and that somehow he got things mixed up because Steven Hill is definitely going to stick.