ATLANTA—Program executives at NBA TV are nervously awaiting the fallout of one of their newest host’s earth-shattering announcement. Former All-Star forward Grant Hill, co-host of the revival of NBA Inside Stuff, declared to a small gathering of reporters last night that he is devoted to his wife and two daughters.
Tying the knot in 1999, Hill and wife, singer Tamia, “have weathered a storm of illness, injuries, and other challenges to emerge with unwavering fidelity,” Hill said with Tamia by his side in support. “When you’re a pro ball player, you have to live your life a certain way to be accepted. By speaking out, I hope more guys realize that it’s okay to be who you are.”
Hill also credited his commitment to marriage and legitimate fatherhood as what allowed him to be so resilient to injuries that would have otherwise ended his career. “It’s one of the hardest parts of all this, you know,” Hill continued. “There is a part of you that is so important to your existence, but a lot of people still can’t admit that the reason I was such a good teammate was because of this other life I was living. But they refused to see all the signs.”
Recalling a locker room incident when another player accused him of being faithful after declining an invitation to a strip club, Hill admitted to presenting a stack of adult magazines he’d bought as cover to prove otherwise. “It was tough. I decided it would be easier to be viewed as a throwback pervert than someone who went home to the same woman every night.”
Former players of varying repute have already taken to Twitter to voice their opinions about Hill’s confession. @RainMan40, known for his many children with nearly as many women, said “2 each they own, but i dont get down like dat. #makeitrain” @MJBobcat23 said, “No room for wives in the game of basketball, not if you want to be the greatest.” And @JasonCollins tweeted, “Proud day for my man G Hill. Truly a class act. Bravest person I know.”
As hopeful as Hill is, he still acknowledges the uphill battle at hand for current NBA players. “Is the NBA ready for an openly faithful husband?” Hill repeated to the reporter who asked. “I think so, but my thoughts and prayers go out to the first active player to come forward. If I had a few playing seasons left in me, I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t be worried about getting a contract.”