Boston Celtics point guard Marcus Smart expressed respect to former NBA star Grant Hill by calling him ‘LeBron before LeBron.’

“He was LeBron before LeBron,” Smart said when talking about the 7-time NBA All-Star. “He was dynamic at 6’8” and could it all: pass shoot, steal, defend, block… Whew! But basketball can never show you the whole story.

“Don’t get me wrong, his natural talent was out of this world. But one thing bigger than his game was his heart. And with that Hill has been stepping up and giving back for years.

Hill played 18 seasons in the NBA averaging 16.7 points, 6 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game. He is currently a co-owner and executive (Vice Chair of the Board) of the Atlanta Hawks.