Jordan Hill & Mike D'Antoni's "War of Words"

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PurpleKnight
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Did a little research on the friction between Jordan Hill and Mike D'Antoni from March, 2010 - a month after Hill was traded to the Rockets as part of the T'Mac deal:

JORDAN HILL: "D'ANTONI BURIED ME ON THE KNICKS BENCH"

By MARC BERMAN - New York Post

Posted: 1:44 AM, March 21, 2010

Rookie Jordan Hill, the Knicks' lottery pick last year, charged that coach Mike D'Antoni held him back during his brief, forgettable stint in New York.

The 6-foot-10 Hill, who faces the Knicks today at the Garden as a Rocket, was dispatched in the Feb. 18 Tracy McGrady blockbuster trade after team president Donnie Walsh gave up on the eighth pick.

Walsh felt it was more important to open up even more salary cap space, doubting that Hill would develop into an All-Star. In essence, Walsh was admitting to a mistake with the selection.

Hill has moved past another former Knick, Jared Jeffries, in the Rockets' rotation.

"Coach D'Antoni, he relies on his veterans more than rookies," Hill told the Houston Chronicle. "He feels like his rookies need to learn more their first year so they could get everything down pat. I understood. I just wanted to wait patiently until my time was coming."

An active Hill has been a breath of fresh air in Houston. In nine games, he has averaged 5.9 points and 4.9 rebounds in 15 minutes. On Friday in Boston, Hill scored 11 points and grabbed seven boards in 27 minutes.

"My chance was here [in Houston] and I'm making the best of it," Hill said. "Fans there [in New York], they know what I can do. I just didn't have the opportunity to show it."

Hill hid his distaste for his role when he was with the Knicks. He spent most of his Knicks days on the bench, starting the season out of the rotation.

Hill's remarks come after fellow rookie Toney Douglas was given the starting point guard job after being used little in the season's first half. Douglas has carried the club to a 3-1 record in four starts.

Walsh said before the 2009 draft that the Knicks "can't make a mistake" with their lottery pick.

HERE'S D'ANTONI'S REPLY:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl ... GberUG7xLg

D'ANTONI: "I DON'T LIKE TO LPLAY BAD ROOKIES"

By MARC BERMAN - New York Post

Posted: 1:51 AM, March 22, 2010

The war of words between Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni and Jordan Hill is on.

D'Antoni got his hackles up before yesterday's Rockets showdown when The Post asked him about ex-Knick Hill's recent remarks. Hill said he couldn't strut his stuff in New York because D'Antoni isn't fond of playing rookies.

"Where does that come from?" D'Antoni said. "Seriously. It's something that cracks me up. I don't play rookies? I don't like to play bad rookies."

Ouch.

Hill wasn't bad yesterday and helped the Rockets beat D'Antoni's Knicks 116-112 at the Garden. Hill was aggressive at the rim, scored on two putbacks that he converted into 3-point plays and finished with 13 points and five rebounds.

He was on the court when the Rockets got back into the game with a 45-point fourth quarter and played good defense down the stretch.

Hill seemed to be displeased at D'Antoni's dig.

"What can I say?" Hill said. "That's him. He's entitled to his own opinion. If that's the way he feels, that's how he feels.

"I'm entitled to my opinion, so I'm just going to go out there and say what I feel."

Hill said he wasn't trying to use yesterday's game as a way to get back at the Knicks.

"I'm not trying to make no point, man," he said.

"I'm just trying to play basketball. I just want to go out there and have fun and play my game."

Team president Donnie Walsh would disagree with D'Antoni's assessment on Hill and probably got indigestion watching the athletic 6-foot-10 power forward bang around the rim.

Asked about Hill's assertion D'Antoni held him back because he isn't comfortable playing rookies, Walsh said, "He didn't play a lot, so I can see why he'd say that."

Walsh said he wished he could have kept Hill, whom he selected as the eighth pick in the 2009 NBA Draft.

"It's part of the trade I really didn't want to do," Walsh said. "Bottom line is I did it. But I really didn't want to give up on him because I like him just like Toney [Douglas]. Both are going to be good NBA players and [I] still think that about Jordan.

"What it came down to -- you know what it came down to -- it put us in a more flexible position this summer."

D'Antoni, however, said he felt Hill was wrong to make a broad generalization about his disdain toward playing young players.

"I don't have anything against rookies at all, I like them," D'Antoni said. "Jordan was in a position, if you noticed, where we had Al [Harrington], Jared [Jeffries], David Lee, [Darko] Milicic for a while. We had about five guys. Rookies are usually in the pecking order of the last guy.

"He didn't get a great chance, but we're trying to thread the needle and make the playoffs," D'Antoni added.

"I do like Jordan. I think he'll be a nice player in the league. But that's as far as it goes. For the record, I do like rookies. I like good rookies."

Axle
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I hope that D'Antoni does not think that way of Hill anymore. Hill is actually one of the spark plugs the Lakers have. He is impressive!

ralppcobarde
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yep... actually D' Antoni make a good point about being stacked on their frontcourt and there is no way Hill would be just the end of the bench... after Howard and Gasol who's next in the rotation? it's obvious it must be Hill while Sacre would be at the end of the bench. Hill will continue to improve and i just hope they put those problems aside.

as for purpleknight..... good find.

SaVaGe-DeF
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Hope they have squashed the beef.

IhatetheCeltics
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D'Antoni is kind of temperamental, he admitted it himself. I feel like he's going to have to tone it down a little, he seems to be sensitive to criticism. If that was Phil or Pop, they would have been like, "Yeah whatever."

TERRY-TEAGLE
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When HIll came into the league he wasn't ready for the NBA game ... IMO

In college he could over power dudes, the nba is a different beast

Some dudes take longer to develop... Also, him being a lottery pick and sitting probably hurt his feelings... He was a reach with the 8th pick that year... I was shocked when they took him that high and so were a lot of nba gurus

gonzo08452
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Water under the bridge!? Let's hope.

LakerZip
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Jordan's intensity has been amazing this year. I think he could be a little more controlled in his movements, because it looks like he's in the process of injuring himself in almost every play. But he's so involved emotionally in the game, and he's doing everything he can to get a win. Finds himself right in the correct place to get the loose ball often. I really like his play. He's fun to watch. Hopefully, his abilities are apparent, and he is an established player on our roster. We need him to continue to play well, and to avoid injuries. In his interviews, Jordan seems like a very level headed, nice guy, who wants to win badly. His skills are pretty good too. With more play, he will get even better.

Something tells me that they are going to move Pau, and if they do, Jordan will be more important than ever. He's got the length plus speed and jumping ability that Pau has lost. I think even though he's shorter than Pau, he can jump 10x higher, so his effective height is greater than Paus.

PurpleKnight
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Phil once called Kobe "uncoachable".

People grow and mature.

Hill is playing much better than he was back then.

They'll get over it.

Hopefully.

Nobody else on that bench is playing worth a damn.

BTW, I like the fire in Jordan Hill even back then! Dude knows he can ball!!!

LongTimeLakersFan
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Reading this I think Walsh actually started this as he took a couple of indirect jabs at Hill regarding the lottery that kind of suggested Hill was not a good pick. Hill IMO never said anything unprofessional, I think D'Antoni actually was unprofessional in saying twice that he doesn't play bad rookies, but he likes good rookies. Even after the trade when things should be squashed D'Antoni says "I do like Jordan. I think he'll be a nice player in the league. But that's as far as it goes. For the record, I do like rookies. I like good rookies."

So again he is is calling Hill a bad rookie and possibly saying he will be an average (nice) player, but that's it, there's no need for that based on what Hill said, D'Antoni being the coach needs to be the better professional and he obviously was offended by what Hill said.

In D'Antoni's defense the media might have twisted this around as well. I'm not sure what exactly was said to D'Antoni, but this is how it was worded in this article:

D'Antoni got his hackles up before yesterday's Rockets showdown when The Post asked him about ex-Knick Hill's recent remarks. Hill said he couldn't strut his stuff in New York because D'Antoni isn't fond of playing rookies.

The strutting your stuff phrase sounds a little errogant, but the quote of what Hill said is:

"Coach D'Antoni, he relies on his veterans more than rookies," Hill told the Houston Chronicle. "He feels like his rookies need to learn more their first year so they could get everything down pat. I understood. I just wanted to wait patiently until my time was coming."

I think if it was presented to Mike like this he would not have taken it so personal.

Anyhow I think they will both be past this and Hill has proven his worth so I don't see D'Antoni holding anything against him

trialsNtribulations
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Jordan was a mess back then. I follow the Knicks as they are my 2nd team due to it being my hometown so I say let bygones be bygones..enough of rehashing things, new day and time. we have enough drama already..I am all about no drama & positive vibes, woosah! I am hopeful Jordan has moved on and become a better player as a result or rather, used it as motivation to work harder. It seems he has. Go Lakers!

Katie
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I just hate to hear this kinda stuff it's a bunch of negative stuff,it makes Mike D'Antoni seem like a unfair coach.I know one thing Jordan Hill is a good player that doesn't do what Mike D'Antoni wants.Mike D'Antoni wants offense offense offense and Jordan Hill is a bad offensive player and a great defensive player and a hardcore rebounder.

Mike D'Antoni just loves offense and he knows very little about defense,the numbers never lie as Mike D'Antoni had teams in the bottom of the NBA finish with some of the worst defensive team numbers,he has had the top 5 offense in the NBA several times before.Jordan Hill and MWP are not going to be his favorites most likely.Time will tell,how this season will end,so far it's not really looking to promising.I am a Jordan Hill fan he deserves minutes.

TheStormView
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I think that this altercation of words will be a thing of the past. Both players have lived a little, are in completely different situations. Jordan Hill has proven himself so far to be a great back-up big. I think that D'Antoni's O directed by Nashty will play great with Jordan's skill set.

lakerfan8
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with D'Antoni I think we haven't seen the last of roster movement. Buss and Mitch claim the hiring of the coach fits the roster which is true to some degree, but not entirely. Katie brings up a good point about MWP. His offense has sputtered miserably with the lakers. However, I believe Pau will eventually be the one to go. Pau's versaitility is invaluable to almost any team, but D'Antoni is going to want to play a power forward that extends the defense to give Dwight and Nash their space on the pick and roll. Watch to see if Pau can improve his midrange game.

Pau for KG and pieces would be huge, but the celts and lakers rarely deal

Pau for David West and pieces. Possible, but Indiana did so well last year still unlikely

Then there's Pau for Kevin Love. still hard to imagine but combining the spaniards with a defender like MWP? Love, Ridnour's contract, Barea's contract and Budinger for Pau, MWP, Darius Morris.

just thoughts. It will be hard to move pau

granpatron24
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Dantoni has no choice but to play him. Criticized hire not playing our best back up big man, NOT HAPPENING.

LakerZip
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Train wreck alert!

LALayup
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I've noticed how Pau's aggressiveness goes up considerably when he's in the same lineup with Hill. I wonder if that's out of embarrassment at how hard Hill is playing by comparison or if it's due to the fact Gasol is playing center (more natural for him around the basket) when Hill's in the game.

sevankb24
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Well it was hills rookie year. The only rookies we have on the team are DJO and Sacre and we dont need them to play. From what it sounds like, he plays second year players so im not worried about Morris.

basketman
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Odom Pau front court did win 2 championships.

lakedson
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if they cannot patch things up i would trade D Antoni...

Axle
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The Lakers are not going to trade Pau. You might as well stop dreaming. "The Lakers might trade Dujon, Meeks, Clark, Sacre and maybe Blake. Other then that, you will not see any movement towards a trade this year anyways.

TERRY-TEAGLE
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LakerZip wrote:
Train wreck alert!

MemphisLakerToni
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I would really Love to see a starting lineup of Howard/Jordan/Eubanks/bryant/Nash and a 2nd lineup of Pau/Jamison/MWP/Meeks/Morris. This way you have a mixture of veteran/shooting/athleticism. I would also like to Sacre play. If this team wants to climb back into the top of the Western Conference and be able to hang with the Grizzlies/Clippers/Thunder and Spurs you have got to mix the lineup with veterans and youth. This way you can also control the minutes of our older guys. In my opinion the days of 2 7-footers in the lineup are gone.

LakerZip
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I agree with what you just said. Mixing the first and second teams up is probably the best way to have someone covering the defensive end, while someone else is pounding the bords.

Is Ebanks out of jail yet?

SaVaGe-DeF
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Yes.

LakerZip
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If he finds his shot, he could have just won the lotto. Young legs are now at a premium.

SaVaGe-DeF
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http://sulia.com/channel/la-lakers/f/60 ... ce=twitter

Katie
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Yeah i like what i have seen from Jordan Hill over the last several months,that we have had him on our team,he is unpolished on offense yet he is good enough on offense to keep a team honest,since Hill can get easy tips and offensive rebounds for putbacks.I also love the defense and rebounding he brings into the game for us.Jordan brings us tons of effort and energy.

Hopefully Jordan Hill can impress Mike D'Antoni enough to keep himself on the court,Jordan Hill seems like a chill rasta head,maybe Jordan Hill should invite Mike D'Antonti and former Running Back Ricky Williams over for some Kumbaya spiritual bonding. Weedman Weedman Weedman Weedman Weedman

granpatron24
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I know Jamison works better into D'antoni stretch 4 scheme but Hill is a junkyard dog that fights for his meal and has been nothing but positive since his arrival. He's sacrificing defense of the fort for more pocessions/shots, otherwise a system that is an unproven winner. Shaking my head.

Axle
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D'Antoni has to learn that you can not win a championship without defense. Hill brings defense to the bench that Jamieson does not have. Even though Jamison has shown some improvement in the last three games. But I really like Hills game. He is always in position to get a rebound or to tap the ball in on a Laker miss. D'Antoni better play Hill if he wants to last as a Laker coach. The Lakers will need players that can play defense.

Katie
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Quote:
Mike D'Antoni: Jordan Hill's role has changed to increase tempo

By Eric Pincus

November 26, 2012, 4:39 p.m.

The emergence of Antawn Jamison as a contributor has had an effect on Jordan Hill's minutes.

After averaging 18.8 minutes a game over the previous nine, Hill played just 14 minutes combined against the Memphis Grizzlies and Dallas Mavericks.

"There will be room for Jordan but his role has changed a little bit," Coach Mike D'Antoni said.

Hill is a capable rebounder, collecting 4.8 despite just 14 minutes a game. Offensively, he's shot 44.1% from the field, low for a big man. Jamison is more naturally skilled offensively than Hill.

"Nineteen and 15, it's tough to argue with that," said D'Antoni of Jamison's performance against the Mavericks. "The biggest thing is trying to create room for Dwight [Howard]; trying to create room for Pau [Gasol]."

Hill might not have enough range to open up the floor for either of the team's primary big men.

D'Antoni noted that Hill is concerned about the change.

"There'll be a spot for him but again, we're going to try to get up-tempo and to be able do that, Antawn needs to play the four," D'Antoni said. "It will impact him. I'll try to get him as much as I can and be sensitive about it."

Hill struggled to get into D'Antoni's rotation when the two were together in New York. While D'Antoni did note that Hill has improved his game since then, the fit still might not be ideal for Hill moving forward.

http://www.latimes.com/sports/lakersnow ... 7298.story

jackle
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that sucks. does d'antoni know hill is a capable center?

Axle
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Well Katie I do not like what I am reading on your Eric Pincus article because Jamieson is probably on his last season as an nba player. While Hill has many years ahead of him as a player. The way I see D'Antoni is that he is just looking at this season and does not have a vision for a young player like Hill for the future of the Lakers. I would try and utilize Hill as much as posible where defense is urgent on certain teams. But if he is any kind of coach, he has to keep the chemistry of the team at an all time high with all the players. If he starts to play favorites because they were good on a couple of games, desention will creep into players like Hill and the effort will just not be there. Which is too bad because Hill has demonstrated that he can do the dirty work in the trenches. A team needs players like Hill. Former Laker teams always had somebody to be an enforcer in the paint. This thing that D'Antoni of all offense and very little defense will not win anything..

I think D'Antoni has demonstrated with the Sun's team that they are an exciting team to watch, but when it comes to the playoffs, the teams with the best defenses are the teams that usually win the trophy.

The Heat were an exception last season winning with a small team that could shoot good from every where. But it will be hard for them to repeat with the same kind of team. A good defensive team will stop them. And the same will happen to the Lakers if they do not play defense.

userpete1037
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I don't mind D'Antoni starting Jamison over Hill if Jamison continues to be productive but just don't forget about Hill and lose him in the shuffle. This kid is young and hustles hard.

sevankb24
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It's better starting hill over Jamison. Jamison will bring more points off the bench and that's what we need from them. Jamison's offense isn't necessary in the starting lineup when you have Kobe and Dwight already there. But to give hill more minutes while pau is benched, it would be the smartest choice to put him in the starting lineup.

Dundie2k
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Eh, I hate the fact that Hill's minutes are being cut down because he's my favorite Laker, but it's nice to see Jamison bouncing back again and finally waking up. It sucks because the Lakers have never had the luxury of a "good" back up center. We've had guys like Mbenga, Murphy, and Ratliff. It's nice to have a young, capable back up center with so much hustle be on the bench for us.

LALayup
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I love the way Jordan Hill has played with the Lakers. It's easy to like him. At the same time I understand why his minutes may very well be trimmed in D'Antoni's offense. Jordan isn't the greatest offensive player...even though he does get you all those extra possessions with those hustle and effort rebounds.

jrdogg29
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umm....D'Antoni.. wanna be supportive of the new coach but all i remember about the guy is how he let NY's best player(Marbury) at the time rot away on the bench and finally run out of town

jrdogg29
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now D'Antoni has Jordan Hill goin to the doghouse.. what a DNP against the Magic..whats up with this coach

LakerZip
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Play Jamison and Hill, Sit Pau.

SDimitri
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D'Antoni is a straight TOOL for not giving any love to Hill. This guy proved he can play and make a difference in ball games.

He is not only one of the best Rebounders out there, but he plays incredible defense. He impressed me with how well he moved his feet on D even when guarding the wing. It is blowing my mind that he can't get substantial minutes.

Gimme a break coach. Bring back Bernie!

tlex300
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Great great idea!!!! I'm all for it.

jrdogg29
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Bring Bernie back ...sounds like a great idea

prisonmike
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Although he's not a lockdown shooter, I feel like Hill would help energize D'Antoni's run n' gun system and aid the defense, I don't get it...

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