The 1994 NBA Draft Class was quite a memorable one. A clear testament to this fact is how Grant Hill and Jason Kidd ended up being awarded as the co-winners of that season’s Rookie of the Year award. That was just the second time in the history of the NBA that two players shared the same individual award, which speaks volumes of just how tight the race was between them.
Interestingly enough, neither of these two players was actually the first overall pick of that draft. That honor went to Glenn Robinson, who the Milwaukee Bucks scooped up as the No. 1 pick. Jason Kidd went second to the Dallas Mavericks, with the Detroit Pistons securing Hill at the No. 3 spot.
For his part, Grant Hill was more than happy to land in Detroit. After all, this was his preferred destination in the first place:
“I just wasn’t excited about Milwaukee at the time,” Hill revealed in a recent podcast interview. “Detroit, you know, they were in a bit of transition. They drafted the year before Lindsey Hunter and Allan Houston at the point guard and shooting guard positions. So I thought I could slide right in at the pa at the small forward position and play along those guys and, kind of build with them.”
Hill also admitted that he actually tanked his interview with the Bucks. He knew that he did not want to go to Milwaukee and that the Bucks didn’t really want him either. At that point, he just didn’t see the purpose of the sit-down:
“I didn’t wanna be there,” he admitted. “… I didn’t quite understand why I had to go (to the predraft meeting) if I didn’t want to be there. I was talking to my agent, and I know the first pick. You wanna show respect for it, you wanna come in and compete for it. … When Milwaukee ended up getting the first pick, they had a picture of their jersey with Glen Robinson’s number on it. So I just figured that they were gonna take him.”
It all worked out in the end for everyone involved. Glenn Robinson, Jason Kidd, and Grant Hill all had memorable careers with their respective teams, and at this point, you can’t really imagine if the order at the top of that draft went in another direction. All’s well that ends well, I guess.