Pop’s many digits on his telephone call tricked Hill about the trade

It was a tough decision for Spurs coach Gregg Popovich to trade his self-proclaimed “favorite player,” George Hill.

Popovich has frequently mentioned over the years that he loved Hill’s outlook on the game and life and his unselfish nature. The fact that Hill grew up in Indiana also gave him a link with Popovich, who shared his home state.

But when Popovich called Hill Thursday night to tell him he had been traded to Indiana, it came as a surprise to Hill — particularly when he didn’t recognize the incoming number with one he would have associated with his coach.

“I think if he called from his actual real number, I probably wouldn’t have picked up,” Hill said, chuckling. “Because I know, they normally call with bad news.”

It was a strange call that had multiple numbers when Hill picked up.

“He called from another line. I didn’t know who it was,” Hill said. “It was like 20 digits, so I thought it was TP  (Tony Parker) calling from France or something.”

Hill said he’s leaving the Spurs franchise with no grudges to management and no regrets after the surprising trade.

“For what? The Spurs gave me the chance to play in the NBA and I’m thankful for that,” Hill said. “They gave me a chance to move on to another organization to better myself and my family. I’m grateful for that.”

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