Milwaukee Bucks: George Hill dishes on his Bucks departure

PORTLAND, OR - JANUARY 11: (Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images)
PORTLAND, OR - JANUARY 11: (Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images) /

In an interview with The Undefeated, former Milwaukee Bucks guard George Hill discussed his feelings on how his departure over the offseason went down.

Over his brief time with the Milwaukee Bucks, we all saw the leadership of veteran NBA guard George Hill.

After all, it was Hill who had spearheaded the Bucks’ historic walkout during their playoff run last season in the wake of the Jacob Blake shooting that occurred in Kenosha. Hill’s impact encouraging Milwaukee citizens to vote in last year’s election only furthered his impact during his time with the Bucks, on top of his other ventures off the court.

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Of course, Hill’s time in Milwaukee over the offseason came to a brief end as he was included as part of the trade that netted the Bucks Jrue Holiday before the draft and free agency.

In a recent interview with Marc Spears of The Undefeated, Hill shared that he had braced for his eventual departure this offseason and intimated that he felt it was in part due to his off-the-court efforts:

"“How did you take being traded from the Bucks to the Thunder on Nov. 23 after everything you did there on and off the court?“When you do stuff that ruffles feathers and is outside the norm, you got to know there is going to be some backlash with it. I prepared myself that summer for me probably not being there. People thought I was probably crazy for thinking that. But I’m human. It is what it is. We’ve seen that many times.We saw Colin Kaepernick [kneel] for what he believed and they tried to destroy his life. I was going to accept that with open arms if I wasn’t going to be able to go play for Milwaukee again. No disrespect to them. They did what they thought was right for the organization.”Do you think the Bucks trading you was simply a basketball move or more than that?“We will never know, right? It ain’t me to speak upon that if it is more. If it’s more than basketball, then they will live with that. If it wasn’t … we’ll never know. I’m sure they won’t flat-out come out and say it. So, it doesn’t really matter.”"

That’s certainly a lot to unpack, but it’s clear that Hill isn’t all that fond of how exactly everything went down in regards to his departure.

George Hill’s brief time with the Milwaukee Bucks showed his power to affect change beyond the basketball court.

There’s no question that Hill is entitled to feel what he feels after how his time with the Bucks ended. After all, Hill had really embedded himself into the city of Milwaukee upon joining the Bucks in December of 2018 and as he commented on when being among those receiving last year’s NBA Cares Community Assist award:

"“Milwaukee has embraced me with open arms since the day I got here, not just the team but the community and fans,” he said. “The least I can do is show my support for them and be there for support for them but at the same time try to do as much as I can to give back to those people.”"

And it was Hill’s frustration and disenchantment with playing down in the bubble in the wake of Blake’s shooting that spurred on the protests we saw beyond the bubble and across sports as a whole. That disenchantment has certainly carried through in light of charges not being brought to the Kenosha police officer that shot Blake seven times in the back as he told Spears the following:

"“I took it hard at first. But I already prepared for this. I prayed about it and prepared [mentally] for it because I knew it was going to happen where none of those cops would be held accountable for anything. We’ve seen it too many times. It’s like that old record player that is continuous that plays the same song over and over.I knew. I felt bad for Mr. and Mrs. Blake. I felt bad for Jacob himself. I felt bad that his kids had to see that. You got to continue to live. When things happen, you continue to figure other things out. I will continue to pray for the family, his kids and himself. But I knew justice wouldn’t be served.”"

There is the logical reason behind why Hill was included in the deal to land Holiday as Hill’s $9.5 million salary for this season, along with Bledsoe, helped match salaries to take on the money owed to Holiday.

Still, there were rumblings that Hill played a part in recruiting Bogdan Bogdanovic before Hill was ultimately dealt to Oklahoma City and the Bucks’ pursuit of Bogdanovic went up in smoke. Given how fast everything came together for the Bucks to acquire Holiday, we can only recklessly speculate on the communication between the Bucks’ front office and Hill before a deal came to fruition.

And as for the Bucks’ peaceful demonstration in late August, it should be noted that the players that led their walkout, Hill and Sterling Brown, are no longer with the team this season, though a variety of factors have played into that to be clear.

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Either way, it’s an unfortunate turn and it’s clear that the way things went down this offseason has left Hill feeling cold. No matter how things ended, though, Hill’s time in Milwaukee will be remembered for far more than what he did in a Bucks uniform.