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NBA: Horace Grant kept wearing goggles after Lasik surgery to help kids who were teased over glasses

FORMER NBA big man Horace Grant is known for two things: Winning championships with Michael Jordan and rocking some of the coolest goggles his side of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

In a recent Ask Me Anything on the Bulls’ Reddit page, however, Grant revealed that he didn’t need the specs for most of his career — yet he kept wearing them to support children who might be bullied for their own eyewear.

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Via Reddit.com (h/t Stephen Noh): “I got them because I was legally blind. I wore ’em because of that for a few years. After a few years I got Lasik surgery, but I kept wearing them without the prescription lenses because I had grandparents and parents come up to me and thank me for wearing them. Their kids and grandkids would get made fun of by wearing protective eyewear playing sports, so I kept wearing them to help make it cool to wear goggles for the kids.”

Indeed, it’s pretty easy to find a picture of Grant without his signature specs:

Horace Grant sans-goggles in the 1989-90 NBA season.

Most of the goggles-less pictures date from 1989 through 1991 or so. In fact, the Bulls’ ophthalmologist expressed concern that same year that Grant’s vision was a problem without his corrective eyewear, something Grant denied.

Whatever the case, Grant broke out the goggles once again in 1992 with Chicago, continuing to wear them through his tenure with the Orlando Magic.

Michael Jordan drives past Orlando Magic's Horace Grant.

Grant played 17 seasons in the NBA before retiring in 2004, winning four titles — three with the Bulls and one with the Lakers — and making the All-Star Game in 1994. His nephews, Jerian and Jerami Grant, are currently NBA players for the Bulls and Oklahoma City Thunder, respectively.

Horace Grant dunks in the 1993 NBA Finals. Picture: Jonathan Daniel /Allsport

This article originally appeared on FOX Sports US

Sours: https://www.foxsports.com.au/basketball/nba/nba-horace-grant-kept-wearing-goggles-after-lasik-surgery-to-help-kids-who-were-teased-over-glasses/news-story/99f1e31a85d6f666403fd35da75c08ed

Sam Smith: Horace Grant deserves to be in the Hall of Fame

If the game is ultimately about winning, perhaps it's time for history to take a closer look at players like Horace Grant, whose career was defined by winning.

He was an essential third of a Big Three which won three championships. He started for another dynasty team and won another NBA title. He also was a Big Three member of yet a third team that should have been a dynasty but only reached one NBA Finals (in which he averaged a double-double, by the way.)

Horace Grant, in a 17-year NBA career, was defined by winning. And aren't we always told that's the ultimate statistic? Grant was a full-time starter in all but his first and last NBA seasons and he never played for a team with a losing record. In more than half his seasons, his teams won at least 50 games and combined to win about 65 percent of their games. Though Grant never was the best player on his team, he always was part of its Big Three, first with Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, then Shaquille O'Neal and Penny Hardaway and finally Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant before bouncing around to a few former addresses in his last few seasons.

The Bulls improved by 10 games in the first season with Grant and Pippen and declined by eight games the first season after Grant left for Orlando. And only eight games thanks to the late season return of Jordan in 1994-95 with a 13-4 close to the season. The Magic improved by seven games in Grant's first season despite already having O'Neal and Hardaway and declined by 13 games the first season after Grant left for the Lakers. Grant teamed with O'Neal and Bryant for his fourth NBA title and at 35 still was the team's third leading rebounder in the Finals. In one Seattle season in-between those Orlando and Los Angeles seasons, the Supersonics improved from a .500 team to 45 wins.

Michael Jordan and Horace Grant

Michael Jordan and Horace Grant

Horace Grant won't be in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. He has just one All-Star game appearance and was voted to only four NBA All-Defensive teams. The Hall of Fame, despite celebrating team success, primarily rewards individual accomplishment. It's how players like Tracy McGrady become Hall of Famers without ever having been on a playoff series winning team. Not that he isn't deserving since individual excellence shouldn't be marred by bad luck with geography.

NBA All-Star teams more often honor success with sometimes lesser players from winning teams being selected. Not as much the ultimate destination, the Hall of Fame, which acts as the final arbiter for careers.

I bring this up now with the Lakers' 2020 championship and the vital role played by Rajon Rondo and a recent podcast I did called Pod of Fame about Grant's possibility as a Hall of Famer.

I doubted it was possible for Grant (or Rondo) to make the Hall of Fame because of the historic criteria, albeit informal. There have been all-time role players who have been enshrined, most notably the 76ers and Nuggets Bobby Jones, who averaged about 12 points in his career. Jones was named to eight defensive teams. However, he's in an extremely small Hall of Fame team picture.

We tend to demand defense and winning. And then we celebrate stats.

It's understandable because it's easier quantified and witnessed.

Though players like Horace Grant, who played seven years for the Bulls from 1987 through the 1993-94 season, are vital for success, they tend not to be celebrated at a comparable level. Go ahead, discuss.

Horace Grant and Scottie Pippen being interviewed by Bob Costas following the Bulls' third championship

Horace Grant and Scottie Pippen being interviewed by Bob Costas following the Bulls' third championship

But consider some of this:

There can be little debate that Grant was an invaluable third of the Bulls Big Three for the first three championships. Though Jordan and Pippen were justifiably celebrated defenders, it was Grant who generally defended the most athletic interior scorer and who defended the full 94 feet. It generally was Grant harassing the inbounder in the Bulls effective trapping schemes and who then would have to race back to protect the basket along with Bill Cartwright.

Just about every third member of a title Big Three dynasty is in the Hall of Fame with Magic, Kareem and Worthy; Bird, McHale and Parish: Robinson, Duncan and (take your pick with Manu or Kawhi) and Curry, Thompson and Durant also to come. And there was Grant to support Shaq and Kobe in Los Angeles that one season. Forget the dynasty Celtics since they often had eight Hall of Famers on the roster.

Grant's career numbers are modest, about 11 points and eight rebounds. What gets lost in the stats is impact on the game, which was not always pleasant for Bulls fans after 1993-94.

It was following that season Grant left as a free agent to Orlando. Pippen is much celebrated for that fabulous 55-27 season post-Jordan with that infamous one foul call in the conference semifinals perhaps denying the Bulls a chance to return to the Finals without Jordan.

Pippen was a league MVP candidate that season. But it was Grant who averaged a double/double at 15.1 points and 11 rebounds, leading the team in rebounds, shooting and blocks and second in points and steals. It was Grant's departure, as Phil Jackson often noted, which led to the .500 record for most of 1994-95 before Jordan's return and the need to get a replacement power forward following the playoff loss to Grant's Magic, which eventually led to Dennis Rodman.

Horace Grant, as a member of the Orlando Magic, chats with Scottie Pippen pregame

Horace Grant, as a member of the Orlando Magic, chats with Scottie Pippen pregame

Though it seemed to alienate Grant from the Bulls for a time, it was Grant who sent Jordan out of the playoffs in his return. It was Grant averaging 22 points and 13 rebounds in a four-game stretch of the 1995 conference semifinals for the Magic. That became the difference in the series, Grant eventually carried off the floor by Magic teammates in the United Center Game 6 clinching win.

Both sides seem to have gotten past that as Grant has become the most active of Bulls ambassadors with fan appearances.

Though Grant's career statistics are not special, he did average barely below a double/double in a nine-year stretch. When measured against Hall of Fame players who are winners, Grant fares well.

In NBA history, 37 players have won four championships or more and 25 of 37 of those players (68 percent) are in the HOF or are soon to be in the HOF. Out of the 12 players who have four championships and are not in the Hall of Fame, Grant is the only one who has been an All-Star. That would be assuming Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli make the Hall of Fame. Grant, according to the advanced statistical research, is 47th all-time in NBA win shares. Only three players ahead of him on that list (Chauncey Billups, Shawn Marion and Buck Williams) are not in the Hall of Fame already or not first ballot type players once they become eligible.

It doesn't suggest Grant should be in the Basketball Hall of Fame, or that he will be. But perhaps the largest gap in acknowledging success.

If the game is ultimately about winning, perhaps it's time for history to take a closer look at players like Horace Grant, who didn't always make the big shot—though he did make the big pass to John Paxson for the 1993 title and then blocked Kevin Johnson's attempted winner—but who helped give the superstars like Jordan and Pippen and Shaq and Kobe the opportunity to finish the job.

Sours: https://www.nba.com/bulls/features/sam-smith-horace-grant-deserves-be-hall-fame
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Horace Grant

American basketball player

Not to be confused with Horace Grant Underwood.

Horace Junior Grant Sr. (born July 4, 1965) is an American former professional basketball player who is a special advisor for Michael Reinsdorf, the president and chief operating officer of the Chicago Bulls.[1][2] He attended and played college basketball at Clemson University before playing professionally in the National Basketball Association (NBA), where he became a four-time champion with the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers. Horace is the twin brother of former NBA player Harvey Grant.

Early life and college[edit]

Grant was born in Augusta, Georgia. He and his twin brother, Harvey, grew up in Mitchell, Georgia and attended school in Sparta, Georgia.

After he graduated from high school, he attended Clemson University, where he was a member of Pi Kappa Alpha. With Clemson, he became the first player in ACC history to lead the league in scoring (21.0 average), rebounding (9.6) and field goal shooting (70.8 percent). In 1987, Grant helped lead Clemson to the NCAA Tournament and was named ACC Player of the Year, the first Clemson player to receive that honor.

NBA career[edit]

Chicago Bulls (1987–1994)[edit]

The Chicago Bulls and New Jersey Nets at the Meadowlands Arena on March 28, 1991. Grant is in the center of the image, wearing number 54.

Grant was drafted by the Chicago Bulls with the 10th overall pick of the 1987 NBA draft. The 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) tall power forward/center immediately teamed with fellow draft-day acquisition Scottie Pippen to form the Bulls' forward tandem of the future, although he initially backed up incumbent Charles Oakley, one of the league's premier rebounders and post defenders.

In 1988, Grant moved into the starting lineup when Oakley was traded to the New York Knicks for center Bill Cartwright. He immediately became the Bulls' main rebounder, and established himself as the Bulls' third scoring option after Michael Jordan and Pippen, forming one of the league's best trios. Grant was noted for his defensive play; he was selected four times for the NBA All-Defensive Team.[3] He helped Chicago win three consecutive NBA championships (1991, 1992, and 1993), securing the third with a last-second block on Kevin Johnson.

Grant, who was diagnosed with myopia and wore eyeglasses, began wearing goggles fitted with prescription lenses on the court starting with the 1990-91 season.[4] The goggles soon became a trademark for Grant. Although he eventually received LASIK surgery to correct his sight, he continued to wear the goggles on the court after he had heard from parents that he had become an inspirational figure to children who wore eyeglasses.[5]

After Jordan's first retirement following the 1992–93 season, Grant became the number-two star behind Pippen, and helped the Bulls push the Knicks to seven games in the second-round playoff series before being eliminated. Grant played in the 1994 NBA All-Star Game, posting four points and eight rebounds in 17 minutes. During the 1993–94 season he recorded career-best averages in scoring (15.1), rebounding (11.0), and assists (3.4).

Orlando Magic (1994–1999)[edit]

Grant left the Bulls as a free agent and joined the Orlando Magic, led by Shaquille O'Neal and Penny Hardaway. On May 5, 1995, Grant made the final basket in Boston Garden history in Orlando's series-clinching victory over the Boston Celtics. Grant helped the Magic reach the 1995 NBA Finals, where they were swept in four games by the Houston Rockets. Grant spent the next several seasons with the Magic.

Seattle SuperSonics (1999–2000)[edit]

Grant was traded to the Seattle SuperSonics along with 2000 and 2001 second round picks for Dale Ellis, Don MacLean, Billy Owens, and rookie Corey Maggette just before start of the 1999–2000 season.

Los Angeles Lakers (2000–2001)[edit]

After one year with the Sonics, Grant was involved in a three-way trade in which Glen Rice of the Los Angeles Lakers was sent to New York, Patrick Ewing of the Knicks was sent to Seattle, and Grant to the defending champion Lakers, reuniting him with Shaquille O'Neal and former Bulls coach Phil Jackson. He helped them win another championship in the 2000–01 season.

Return to Orlando (2001–2002)[edit]

In the offseason, Grant decided to leave Los Angeles and sign back with the Orlando Magic. The Los Angeles Lakers would go on to win the 2002 NBA championship without Grant. Grant was ultimately cut by the Magic in December 2002 after then-coach Doc Rivers said Grant had tried to undermine the coach and was a "cancer" on the team.[6]

Return to Los Angeles (2003–2004)[edit]

Grant playing for the Lakers in 2003.

Grant chose to retire after getting cut by the Magic. However, he decided to return for another run with the Lakers for the 2003–04 season as a backup to Karl Malone. He then retired permanently following the Lakers' loss to the Detroit Pistons in the 2004 NBA Finals.

Personal life[edit]

Grant's identical twin brother, Harvey Grant, played 11 NBA seasons for the Washington Bullets/Wizards, Portland Trail Blazers, and Philadelphia 76ers.

Grant was best friends with former teammate Scottie Pippen for many years when they were both on the Bulls. He said they grew apart when he left Chicago for Orlando, but that they are still friends and keep in touch.

Though it has never been confirmed, Grant is rumored to be the main source for the material behind Sam Smith's controversial book The Jordan Rules, alongside former Bulls assistant coach Johnny Bach.

Three of Grant's nephews are also basketball players. Jerai Grant played college basketball for Clemson University[7] and currently plays overseas;[8]Jerian Grant played for the University of Notre DameFighting Irish men's basketball team and currently plays for the Washington Wizards; and Jerami Grant played for the Syracuse UniversityOrange men's basketball team and currently plays for the Detroit Pistons.

Horace has three sons (Deon, Horace Jr, and Elijah) and five daughters (Coriel, Gianna, Maia, Naomi, and Eva).

NBA career statistics[edit]

  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high
 †  Won an NBA championship

Regular season[edit]

Playoffs[edit]

Year Team GPGSMPGFG%3P%FT%RPGAPGSPGBPGPPG
1988Chicago10029.9.568.000.6007.01.61.4.210.1
1989Chicago171736.8.518.8009.82.1.6.910.8
1990Chicago161638.5.509.000.6239.92.51.11.112.2
1991† Chicago171739.2.583.7338.12.2.9.413.3
1992† Chicago222238.9.541.000.6718.83.01.11.811.3
1993† Chicago191934.3.546.6858.22.31.21.210.7
1994Chicago101039.3.5421.000.7387.42.61.01.816.2
1995Orlando212141.4.540.000.76310.41.91.01.113.7
1996Orlando9937.1.649.86710.41.4.8.715.0
1999Orlando4432.0.367.6257.01.3.5.56.8
2000Seattle5537.0.407.5006.22.01.61.04.8
2001† L.A. Lakers161626.4.385.7336.01.2.9.86.0
2002Orlando4431.8.3641.0007.82.3.8.34.5
Career 17016036.3.530.125.7148.62.11.01.011.2

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^"Horace Grant named Special Advisor to President & COO". NBA.com. April 6, 2016. Retrieved December 31, 2020.
  2. ^"Chicago Bulls Staff Directory". NBA.com. Retrieved December 31, 2020.
  3. ^NBA Postseason Awards: All-Defensive TeamsArchived July 17, 2008, at the Wayback Machine, nba.com. accessed April 24, 2007.
  4. ^Smith, Sam (May 17, 1991). "Doctor: Grant Needs Those Goggles". The Chicago Tribune. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
  5. ^"Horace Grant wore goggles after eye surgery to make kids with glasses feel better". SBNation.com. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
  6. ^"Rivers says 'cancer' had to be cut from the team", espn.go.com, December 11, 2002, accessed March 8, 2009.
  7. ^"Senior forward Jerai Grant emerging as pleasant inside surprise", www.orangeandwhite.com, January 11, 2011.
  8. ^"National Basketball League - Sydney Kings: Sydney Kings' Jerai Grant arrives in town". Archived from the original on September 4, 2012.

External links[edit]

Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horace_Grant
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