The seven-time NBA All-Star teamed up with two other investors to bid on the Clippers but came up short when former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer topped their offer. Hill finished his 18-year NBA career with the Clippers in 2012--13.
DAN PATRICK:How shocked were you that the Clippers went for $2 billion?
GRANT HILL: I was real shocked, considering I was in the mix.
DP:How much of your group's $1.2 billion offer were you putting up?
GH: I was going to put up an eight-figure amount. The three of us—Tony Ressler, Bruce Karsh and I—would have been managing partners. I wouldn't be putting in the bulk of the capital, but for what I have, it was a substantial amount.
DP:Was it a fair bidding process?
GH: No, but I don't think [we were] ever promised it would be fair. We were never promised a clean process.
DP:What's that mean?
GH: It just wasn't clean. Everything was rushed. You don't normally do a $2 billion transaction in five days. You take time to dive into the details.
DP:Do you think the NBA was going to pick [Steve] Ballmer all along?
GH: No, not at all. The NBA had no favorites in this. It was a mad dash to the finish line. It was Barbarians at the Gate 2014. It was crazy. You had all these folks chasing after a prized asset. The numbers went through the roof. Certainly higher than we were willing to go.
DP:Better team: LeBron's Heat or Michael's Bulls?
GH: I go with the Bulls. No knock on LeBron. The Heat are the best team of this era. But some of the Bulls teams were the best of all time. I wasn't around for his first three championships, but I was around for the second three.
DP:Better defender, Michael or LeBron?
GH: LeBron is a great defender. He's bigger and probably could guard more positions, but Michael was a dog defensively. The game was more physical back then. Michael was allowed to get away with more. I think they're both great. I'll probably give the nod to Michael.
DP:Who was tougher to stop, Jordan or Kobe?
GH: I always felt Jordan was more efficient. Jordan got what he wanted. With Kobe there was a degree of difficulty. Jordan would get his 30, 35, 40, but it was always in the flow of the triangle offense. Kobe would do anything. He wasn't always going to trust the offense. Kobe would hit a lot of tough shots. He might be a better long-range shooter and better at hitting tough shots with people on him.
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MICHAEL J. LEBRECHT II FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (PATRICK)
ROBIN MARCHANT/GETTY IMAGES FOR SIRIUSXM (HILL)
KYLE RIVAS/GETTY IMAGES (DONOVAN)
DON JUAN MOORE/GETTY IMAGES (PORTIS)
BRUCE BENNETT/GETTY IMAGES (QUICK)