Milwaukee Bucks: George Hill discusses NBA’s return amid variety of issues

ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 20: (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 20: (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /

Veteran Milwaukee Bucks guard George Hill sounded off on many topics during a conference call Friday morning, which included returning to play the 2019-20 season amid social unrest and the coronavirus pandemic.

Ever since the 2019-20 season was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, no Milwaukee Bucks player has led a more fascinating hiatus than veteran guard George Hill.

Reading the adventures of living on his 850-acre ranch in Texas and his off-the-court interests in wild animals, hunting, etc., gave some interesting insights into the quiet floor general. Soon enough, though, Hill will be set for Orlando as the NBA has its plans to restart the 2019-20 season at Walt Disney World late next month.

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Given everything going on in the country with COVID-19, as well as the waves of protests that have stemmed from the incidents of racism, police brutality and killings of black people all across the country, returning to the court to play basketball certainly seems small at the moment.

As ESPN’s Eric Woodyard reported on Friday afternoon, Hill certainly spoke to that during a conference call when the topic of restarting the 2019-20 NBA came up during the many discussions:

"“I’ve been working every day since this all started with my body, my game and things like that, but as a whole, I can care less about basketball right now,” Hill said. “That’s like my last worry. That’s just the game I’m blessed to play. When the ball goes up in the air, I’m ready to play, I love the competitive side of it, but that’s not who I am. So, that’s my last thought on my mind is basketball. I can care less what’s going on. I think there’s bigger issues and bigger things to tackle in life right now than a basketball game, but that’s just my personal opinion.”"

Hill has spoken to that sentiment throughout this break, given that the coronavirus has hit close to home as his wife’s grandmother overcame the virus since the pandemic went into full effect all over the world.

But given the massive amount of social unrest throughout the country as it relates to the social injustices that black people have suffered for centuries, it was Hill’s comments and discussing his own experiences within his family when it comes to injustices at the hands of the police:

"“If I didn’t have that talent, I possibly would’ve been that George Floyd. I possibly would’ve been all my family members that got gunned down in the streets in Indianapolis. So, yes, this for me, it impacts me even more because I’ve seen the killing going on, and I’ve seen the police brutality,” Hill said before getting choked up. “I’ve seen that my cousin is laying in the street for an hour and a half before another police officer gets there. I’ve seen that. So, I get emotional because it really hurts. I’ve got interracial kids, and I’m scared just for my whole life.”"

The topic of reform, both through those designed to protect citizens of all communities and all walks of life has obviously led to various faces of the league letting their voices be heard, including many Bucks players after last week’s protest and March in Milwaukee.

And given the recent reports regarding concerns from multiple players, all led by Brooklyn Nets All-Star guard Kyrie Irving, about how finishing out the season would take away from the ongoing protests and need for reform, Hill’s comments certainly fall within that spectrum, at least to some degree.

All of this only adds another dynamic into the very precarious situation that is the NBA attempting to make its return and finish out this season with players secluded in the bubble concept that is necessary to making all of this work. And with more details that come out about how everything will be put into place within Walt Disney World, it’s understandable that the events of the real world force some players to question the need for rushing back to play, knowing the risks involved.

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As Hill stated, he’s stayed ready physically to be prepared for the inevitable return in some scenario. But as he and a whole faction of players are voicing right now for a variety of reasons, their collective minds have fixated on issues that matter much more than the game of basketball.