NBA TV analyst Grant Hill had numerous highlights in his 19-year NBA career that ended last season with the Los Angeles Clippers.
Another highlight came Tuesday when Kevin Durant told him in an interview — and later repeated in his MVP acceptance speech — that he wore Hill’s jersey while growing up.
The interview will air on “NBA Inside Stuff” at 11 a.m. Saturday on NBA TV, followed by a repeat of Durant’s emotional speech, which has been widely applauded, at 11:30 a.m. on the network.
“He said when he was 6 or 7 years old, his mom bought my jersey and that inspired him to fall in love with the game,” Hill said.
Hill said he asked Durant if he was saying that because he was being interviewed by Hill, but Durant admitted to wearing the jersey.
“I said, I feel good. KD, the MVP, wore my jersey.”
Similar to the acceptance speech, Durant also discussed the importance of his mom, Wanda Pratt, in his basketball career. “She’s just always taught me to believe in myself,” Durant told Hill. “She made sure I stayed on top of it, had my priorities in order.”
Hill said this was the second time this year he interviewed Durant for the show. The first time in January, while in the kitchen of KD’s new restaurant in Oklahoma City, they discussed his chances of becoming MVP.
Hill had to catch a flight Tuesday and didn’t see the MVP acceptance speech in person, but he has since seen it on video.
“After seeing it and all the talk about it, I knew the next day they would come out and play well,” Hill said. “I said the Clippers have no chance because that kind of experience you have a glimpse of the atmosphere and the connection those guys have and it was almost like a team bonding, a galvanizing experience for the team.”
The “NBA Inside Stuff” episode also includes a Mother’s Day segment that features five moms of players and former players, including Lucille O’Neal (Shaq’s mother) and Jolina Wade (Dwyane’s mother).
•Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy and reporter Doris Burke will call Game 4 of the Thunder-Clippers series at 2:30 p.m. Sunday on ABC. The crew also called Game 3.
•The Trail Blazers-Spurs telecast Thursday night on ESPN2 set an NBA playoffs ratings record for the network with a 2.8.
•ESPN’s NFL draft telecast Thursday set records with 9.9 million viewers and a 6.1 rating, up 49 percent from last year.