They say that one of the true marks of genius is surrounding yourself with people who are smarter than you. That way, if you ever encounter an unsolvable dilemma, you can draw upon the advice, experience and intelligence of those around you. At least that’s what all these business-school-in-a-book books tell me. Seems like sound advice.

In fact, I’d surmise that this is such sound advice that it even pertains to basketball players, and not just in a “to be the best, you have to beat the best” way, either. No, learning from your elders relates to every part of a basketball player’s education. Aaron Brooks’ recent encounter with Grant Hill proves that to be true.

From the Houston Chronicle:

With Aaron Brooks still weeks away from a return from his sprained left ankle, Suns veteran Grant Hill made sure to give him medical advice.

“Grant Hill told me to take my time,” Brooks said. “He was walking past me, and he told me to take my time. He would know.” [...]

“I don’t know exactly what the situation was with his ankle. Hopefully, mine is not at that stage.”

He’s right. If anyone knows ankle injuries it’s the guy who missed somewhere in the neighborhod of six billion games because of ankle injuries. (Alternately, my dad would be a nice sounding board, but he doesn’t advise NBA players too often anymore.) Getting ankle advice from Grant Hill is like getting making great movies advice from Will Smith. These guys are beyond being simply masters of their subject areas, they’re practically gurus.

Simply put, when Grant Hill talks ankles, people should listen. After all, he could have been one of the best players ever if he’d have taken his time and let his ankle heal correctly. To paraphrase a Jay-Z line, “Grant did that, so hopefully you won’t have to go through that.”

Let’s hope Aaron Brooks was really listening.