SAN ANTONIO -- Bucks guard George Hill was selected 26th overall by the San Antonio Spurs in the 2008 NBA Draft. He was joining a team that swept the Cleveland Cavaliers to win another NBA championship the season before.
The team was filled with veterans, so player relationships were already established.
However, in an interview with Sebastian Saijo of NBA.com, Hill touched on the how Spurs legend Manu Ginobili took it upon himself to become a mentor for him.
“I did not know much about the NBA world I just landed in San Antonio. It was my rookie year and Ginobili helped me a lot. He was always in my ear, he gave me advice, he told me what he did right or what he did wrong and he showed me how a team was led on and off the court."
Ginobili and Hill played three seasons together in San Antonio before Hill was exchanged to the Indiana Pacers as part of the deal for Kawhi Leonard.
While their time as teammates was relatively short, Hill credits Ginobili for paving the way and teaching him what it means to be an NBA player.
Ginobili’s jersey number will be retired on March 28, an event Hill was originally going to be present for.
"When the announcement came out I was going to be present with the Cavs and I was happy about it. But then I was traded and now with my new team I can not be there. But I will do it in spirit. "
Despite not being able to be attendance. the teammates turned friends keep in touch regularly.
"We still talk and we are always in touch. He is probably one of the best companions I had in my life."