With the NBA draft coming up in about three weeks. The staff of Pippen Ain’t Easy decided to take a break of studying potential available college prospects and trying to figure out where they are going to take a look back. Pippen Ain’t Easy goes back in time to honor Horace Grant on “NBA Draft Memories”.
Horace Grant will be the third player that have shined the spotlight on in this series. The first player that we covered was the greatest Chicago Bull of all time Michael Jordan. This year marks the 30 year anniversary of when the Bulls drafted him way back in 1984. The second player Pippen Ain’t Easy covered was Scottie Pippen the unofficial Godfather of this website, the namesake. These two combined to create the greatest dynasty of this era. As of right now, the Miami Heat are putting their claim on joining the Bulls. As we know, these two got all the shine, but that couldn’t happen without someone on the grind. Pippen Peoples, I introduce you to Horace Grant.
Let’s look at the accomplishments of Horace Grant.
He was the third scoring option behind Jordan and Pippen and was the Bulls main rebounder and defender.
Grant was selected four times for the NBA-All Defensive Second Team (1993-1996).
He was a main contributor to the Chicago Bulls first three-peat (1990-91, 1991-92 and 1992-93)
Let’s talk about what he did in the last game to seal the series against the Phoenix Suns. Sure everyone remembers the game winning three-point shot made by John Paxson. What a lot of people don’t remember is that Horace Grant was the one who hit him with the pass.
Then after that, Horace Grant went down and blocked a shot to preserve the win.
After Michael Jordan’s first retirement after that season, Horace Grant moved up to second option in the pecking order. He had a career year averaging 15 points, 11 rebounds and three assists. He had his only All-Star appearance that year.
Horace even started a fashion trend before his time. He had those prescription goggles that look like those super glasses Russell Westbrook was wearing a few years back.
He left after the 1994 season to go to the Magic. He eventually linked up with Phil Jackson in L.A. and won one more ring with the Lakers.
As we all see, Horace had a very productive career in the NBA. But did we really think that Horace was going to be a four-time NBA champion back in 1987? Really?
For the heck of it, Pippen Ain’t Easy is going back in time and scout Horace Grant as he was a college prospect coming out of Clemson. Pippen Ain’t Easy warning: Look, we all know that Horace Grant had a very productive career in the NBA. However, he didn’t have four rings in 1987. So to the sensitive fans that get upset easily, we’ll give you time to exit now. This is for entertainment purposes only.
Horace Grant was selected 10th in the 1987 draft along with Scottie Pippen out of Clemson University. Like Scottie he had to sit the bench behind Charles Oakley. A strong defender and rebounder. He also was Michael Jordan’s chief protector on the floor and best friend on the team. Charles Oakley was traded in 1989 to the Knicks for Bill Cartwright which opened the way for Horace Grant to be inserted into the starting lineup.
I don’t know how well Michael Jordan got along with Horace Grant after the trade, but history does tell us that Jordan was HOT about the trade and he still holds that venom towards Jerry Krause to this day, even though it was the right move obviously. I’ll say it again, Jerry Krause might need a little more credit with the moves he made. (No, I’m not saying organizations win championships.)
Horace Grant-Clemson Tigers-Senior
21 points, 9.6 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.2 steals per game.
Here would be the scouting report circa 1987.
Horace Grant absolutely destroyed the ACC in his senior season. His deft scoring touch along with his big body inside gave the ACC big men nightmares. I know the Bulls already have a strong power forward in Charles Oakley but he could use some help on the front line. Plus the Chicago Bulls have needed a decent center they traded Artis Gilmore to the San Antonio Spurs for Dave Corzine.
I don’t think stats like these will keep in on the board at the 10th slot, but word around the campfire is that Jerry Krause is working to move up in the draft. If he can get to the 5th slot maybe the Bulls can snag him. If he does, Horace Grant would be a good addition.
1987 opinion: This report brought up bad memories. How could the Bulls trade away Artis Gilmore for Dave Corzine? Dave Corzine? Oh, Horace Grant? If he’s on the board…GET HIM!