Grant Hill displays his new jersey during a news conference at the Clippers… (Damian Dovarganes / Associated…)
Veteran free agent forward Grant Hill said Friday that he considered the number of "high character guys" on the Clippers, and that made it easy for him to sign a two-year deal worth $3.85 million to join them.
His listened to what Chris Paul and Chauncey Billups had to say about being acquired by the Clippers last season. Hill also listened to Blake Griffin talk about his experiences with the Clippers, and Hill noted that the team recently signed free-agent guard Jamal Crawford and traded for Lamar Odom.
"You can't worry or focus on what's in the past or what people might have perceived in the past," Hill said at a news conference at the Clippers' training facility. "You've just got to focus on the now and the present and moving forward.
"And I like it. I'm excited. I like the team.... We have a chance to do something really special this year," he said.
The Lakers were one of the teams that pursued Hill. His former Phoenix Suns teammate Steve Nash, who was acquired by the Lakers this month, was pushing for Hill to join him.
"Obviously I'm excited to be here with the Clippers and excited about this team and this upcoming season," Hill said. "I'm sure we will play the Lakers a couple of times this year, and hopefully Steve will pass me the ball like he used to."
"I didn't want to have to convince him to come," Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro said in a conference call. "I wanted him to make the decision in terms of feeling good about it."
Hill, who turns 40 in October, recently had a platelet-enrichment procedure in Germany on his right knee. It's a procedure similar to the one that Kobe Bryant had last year.
"You want to give yourself every opportunity to be right," Hill said.
Last season Hill started 46 of 49 games for Phoenix, averaged 28 minutes a game, 10.2 points and shot 44.6% from the field. With the Clippers, Hill is likely to back up small forward Caron Butler.
Clippers look to re-sign Bobby Simmons
The Clippers have also sought to re-sign free-agent forward Bobby Simmons. If Simmons returns, he'll probably be offered a one-year veteran minimum of $1.23 million.
"We've been talking," Simmons' agent, Mark Bartelstein, said. "There is interest, but no decision has been made."