Grant Hill shot baskets at one end of the Clippers' practice facility when reporters were granted access to the gym Tuesday afternoon. But there was another player wearing Hill's practice jersey at the opposite end of the court shooting baskets, too.
The imposter turned out to be point guard Chris Paul, who donned Hill's No. 33 jersey as a way of welcoming the 40-year-old small forward back to an active role after nearly three months of rest and recovery to heal a bone bruise in his right knee.
Hill and the Clippers will decide after this morning's shootaround whether he'll play tonight against the Dallas Mavericks or wait until Saturday's game against the Orlando Magic to make his long-delayed and much-anticipated 2012-13 season debut.
"We'll see," Hill said. "I'm just kind of day-to-day. … I feel good. Today was a good day."
Hill hasn't played in a game since the Clippers' exhibition trip to China back in October. A team doctor told him it might be two months before he was sound enough to play. It turned out to be closer to three months, although there's no guarantee Hill will play this week.
"The knee feels pretty good," Hill said. "Everything else, the lungs … (hurts)."
Hill participated in Monday's light practice and Tuesday's more strenuous one.
When asked why he would put himself through a long recovery process at this stage of his career and his life, Hill said, "A chance to win a championship. I think you've seen what we've done so far, and I don't think we've even reached our potential yet. You don't always have these opportunities.
Grant Hill looking forward to return
L.A. Daily News | Jan 9