"I was at home watchin' my Arkansas Razorbacks," Blazers center Steven Hill told me today through some laughter. "I was in Arkansas watchin' my Razorbacks playing Texas A&M and beat them. My agent calls and says, 'Do you want to go to Portland?' I said, 'Let's do it.'"
And just like that we all collectively flash back to 2008, when the bushy-haired, bearded big man battled for the team's 15th and final roster spot with Shavlik Randolph.
Blazers coach Nate McMillan sees Hill's addition as a marriage of convenience. "He came in and had a good camp [in 2008]," McMillan remembered. "He knows some of the things that we're doing. He's kind of familiar with our system and everything. We needed a big body to bring into camp. He was available and I thought it would be good to bring him back. I'm glad to have him back."
McMillan said today that he would start his regular five -- including Marcus Camby in the middle -- and that he wasn't ready to commit to playing Hill tonight. "We'll see," McMillan said. "We'll go with our guys that have been here. It's a lot that he's going to have to pick up."
Hill admitted that he is aware of the perceived Blazers big man injury curse but he's not afraid of it. "Noooo. Noooo," he said chuckling. "Of course not. I was in Portland for a couple months a couple years ago and I was treated really well. I've had no issues health-wise here and was really looking forward to getting back."
Click through for the team's full press release announcing Hill's signing.
-- Ben Golliver | email@example.com | Twitter
Here's the full announcement press release.
PORTLAND, Ore. - The Portland Trail Blazers have signed center Steven Hill, it was announced today by General Manager Rich Cho. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Hill, 24, appeared in one NBA game for the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2008 before being assigned to the NBA Development League's Tulsa 66ers, where he averaged 3.6 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.33 blocked shots in 18 games over parts of two seasons from 2008-10.
Undrafted out of the University of Arkansas, the Trail Blazers signed the former SEC Defensive Player of the Year in August 2008 before waiving him prior to the 2008-09 season. Hill (7-0, 245) averaged 1.0 points, 0.7 rebounds, 0.67 blocked shots and 9.0 minutes in three preseason games for Portland that year. He was previously a member of the Trail Blazers' 2008 NBA Summer League team.
With Hill's signing, the Trail Blazers' roster stands at 19.