George Hill watched and learned from the San Antonio Spurs' veteran stars for three years. Now he is being thrust into the same kind of leadership role with the Indiana Pacers. Hill said Monday he is ready to accept that challenge. "I think it's going to be a great experience," Hill said. "I've learned a lot from guys like Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker. Just try to bring a little leadership, things I know how to do that will help win games. I'm just going to try to use that to my advantage and try to help this team win basketball games and lead them in the right direction." Hill, acquired from San Antonio last week, was introduced Monday in front of about 125 friends, family and Pacers employees inside the entry pavilion of Conseco Fieldhouse. "This is another piece we have to plug in another hole," Pacers president Larry Bird said. Hill, who can play both guard positions, averaged 9.9 points and 2.4 assists with the Spurs. Hill acknowledged that it was a little "hard" learning that he had been traded by the Spurs. They made the playoffs every year, and he was known for his work in the San Antonio community. "Leaving the (Spurs) was kind of tough, but at the same time, it was a great opportunity and a lot of doors open for me to come home," he said. "I had to embrace it and learn it's just a business." The Pacers have spent the past few years trying to fill the leadership void on their relatively young roster. Jermaine O'Neal never took hold of the role. Danny Granger hasn't, either. Roy Hibbert must learn to channel his emotions before he'll be able to step into that spot. Veteran James Posey has championship experience but his role gradually diminished as the season progressed. His opinion didn't carry the same weight as a rotation player. Now it's Hill's turn. Can the 25-year-old carry the burden? "A lot of people are just pros, but you want to try to be professional, and that's on and off the court," he said of advice he took from Duncan. "You carry yourself a certain way: the way you go about working out, the way you go about presenting yourself. That's probably the biggest thing I took from them; being professional and not just a pro." While the Spurs had a locker room full of professional players, the Pacers had a locker room that featured players joking around and who occasionally had chemistry issues.
Pacers hope Hill provides leadership
Indianapolis Star | Jun 28