Horace Grant is a 14-year NBA
veteran who has won championship rings with the Chicago Bulls
and Los Angeles Lakers
. He has a twin brother, Harvey Grant
, who played for several NBA
teams, most notably the Washington Wizards
and the Portland Trail Blazers
. Grant is a 6-foot-10, 245-pound power forward
, who is instantly recognizable by the oversized goggles
he wears on-court.
Grant was born on July 4th, 1965, in Augusta, Georgia. He attended Clemson, and in his senior year avergaged 21 points, 9.6 rebounds, and shot 66 percent from the floor. In the 1987 NBA Draft, the Chicago Bulls selected him at #10. Grant showed promise in his rookie season, coming off of the bench to average 7.7 points and 5.5 rebounds in 23 minutes of playing time. In his second season, 1989, Grant cracked the starting lineup, and remained there for the rest of his Chicago career. Grant's tough defense and jump-shooting ability made him an important cog in the Bulls' championship teams of 1991, 1992, and 1993. In 1992, Grant averaged 14 points and 10 rebounds while shooting 58 percent. In 1994, Grant made the Eastern Conference All-Star team, and posted career highs (in Michael Jordan's absence) of 15 points and 11 rebounds.
Grant and the Bulls parted ways after the 1994 season, signing with the Orlando Magic, then an up-and-coming team with young stars Shaquille O'Neal and Penny Hardaway. In his first season with Orlando, the team reached the NBA Finals, only to lose to the Houston Rockets in a four-game sweep. Grant settled into a comfortable groove of around 13 points and 9 rebounds a year during his stay in Orlando. The Magic were unable to repeat their initial playoff success, and Shaq left the team as a free agent after the 1996 season. In the strike-shortened 1999 season, Grant struggled badly, and was dealt to the Seattle SuperSonics in the off-season for rookie Corey Maggette and three scrubs, including 40-year old Dale Ellis.
His stay in Seattle lasted only one year, and was a forgettable season for both Grant and the team. Grant averaged only 8 points and 8 rebounds, and the Sonics were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. Grant was forced to play out-of-position at center for most of the season, and was also accidentally injured in a locker-room altercation between Gary Payton and Vernon Maxwell, when Payton allegedly threw a very poorly-aimed weight at Maxwell.
Grant was then traded to the Los Angeles Lakers as part of the four-team deal that brought Patrick Ewing to Seattle. The Lakers were looking for a veteran forward to complement Shaquille O'Neal, and so Grant was reunited both with Shaq and his coach from the Chicago days, Phil Jackson. The Lakers easily disposed of the Philadelphia 76ers in the Finals, but Grant was limited by a bad back for most of the season, and his play was disappointing. The Lakers did not offer him a new contract, and he re-signed with the Orlando Magic for the 2002 season.
Horace Grant, at the height of his powers, was a formidable defensive forward, and a steady, if unspectacular rebounder. His game is similar to that of another veteran NBA forward, Charles Oakley, except that Grant concentrates more on his offense. Like Oakley, he is primarily a jump shooter who does not often venture into the paint on offense. Grant also has excellent ball control, committing only 48 turnovers for the entire 2001 season. Over the last three or four seasons, his shooting has suffered, and though he currently starts for the Magic, will probably be forced into a reserve role before long.
UPDATE: Grant exited the NBA under something of a cloud. After a typical 8-point, 6-rebound season in 2002, he began 2003 on the injured list with a sore knee. He was activated and played in only five games before being released. Orlando coach Doc Rivers publicly blasted Grant as a source of dissension in the clubhouse. It was rumored that the Los Angeles Lakers would re-sign Grant, but this did not happen.