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Hill turns off Twitter, turns on game



As an eager rookie, looking to make a name for himself and build a brand, he was @KingxSolo. A clever and bold reference to the biblical character, King Solomon.

After one season of NBA humble pie, he switched to @SoloHill. Simple and straightforward.

And now, just a few weeks into what’s shaping up as a potential breakout season for him, he’s made himself invisible.

Go ahead and tweet Solomon Hill if you must, but he won’t see it. He had a friend change his Twitter password and not tell him, so he can’t be tempted to see what faceless critics on the social network are saying about him.

Hill’s decision, arrived at last month, came about not from a singular bad experience, but from the growing realization that it does him no good to be immersed in chatter from strangers while trying to build a professional basketball career.

“Just the whole social media wave goes hot and cold,” he said following the Pacers’ practice on Thursday. “You can have a bad game and people can say whatever they want to. You have a great game, the same people are changing their mind about you. I felt, just be neutral. As much as people want to say that stuff doesn’t affect them, I think it gets to everybody.

“It’s just not me. I just look forward to playing basketball.”

Hill would have received a flood of favorable tweets following the Pacers’ win over Charlotte on Wednesday. He scored the game-winning basket at the final buzzer off Rodney Stuckey’s jump shot. Lance Stephenson got a piece of it, keeping it from reaching the rim, but Hill swept in from the weak side, caught it in mid-air and laid it in with a reverse layup.

It was the latest good moment in a season of them for the second-year small forward, who has benefited the most of anyone from the Pacers’ run of injuries. He’s started all 12 games and has already played 182 more minutes than he did all of his rookie season. He’s averaging 12.1 points despite inconsistent shooting and is the team’s premier perimeter defender, replacing Paul George in the “stopper” role. Wednesday, he was instrumental in limiting Lance Stephenson to 10 points on 4-of-12 shooting.

Not that Hill doesn’t mind some attention now and then. His game-winning shot was the top-ranked highlight on ESPN Wednesday night.

“That was definitely great,” he said. “I thought the only way I was going to be No. 1 was if I tried to dunk on somebody. But it felt great to see it on TV.”

Hill hasn’t sworn off social media for good, necessarily. Just for now, while he tries to make a name for himself beyond a Twitter handle.

“I think I’m in a good place,” he said. “Focusing on basketball, focusing on getting as many wins as possible. I think that stuff will handle itself. Maybe sometime down the line I’ll get back on it.”

About The Author

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Mark Montieth has more than 30 years of experience as a reporter, columnist, and feature writer for major media entities, and his work has been featured both in Indiana and across the country. This is his second full season contributing to Pacers.com, though he spent many years as the team's beat writer for the Indianapolis Star. Montieth also hosts a radio show called "One on One" on 1070 the Fan.

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