Horace Grant, the former member of the Chicago Bulls team during their first three-peat, made a guest appearance on the ‘Pardon My Take’ podcast. Grant wanted to share his side of the story after the recent episodes of ‘The Last Dance‘, where one of the topics for discussion was the book ‘The Jordan Rules.’ In the book written by Sam Smith in 1992, there were numerous details on what was going on behind the scenes in the Bulls locker room. The public was able to see a different side to Michael Jordan and the relationship among teammates that, according to the book, wasn’t the best, which raised a lot of controversy at that time.
In the documentary, Jordan said it was Horace Grant, who was the primary source of information for Sam Smith when writing his book that eventually affected the team chemistry. During the podcast, Grant said that was simply untrue and how other players on the team were also speaking a lot with Smith when he was writing his book. Grant was mad that there was a lot of backlashes pointed towards him while other players weren’t mentioned at all.
“That is so untrue. That is a blatant lie. Sam Smith quoted myself, Bill Cartwright, John Paxson, and a whole bunch of others in that book. For MJ to say I was the source of this book, that is a lie, that is a downright lie, and he knows that. Coming to think of it, Sam Smith spent more time with Bill, Pacs, Tex Winter even MJ. He spent time with MJ. He played golf a few times with MJ. I don’t know where it came from that I’m the source of the book, but it’s a lie.”
Horace Grant, via Pardon My Take
Grant continued talking about his relationship with Jordan, by saying they were never really close but respected each other on the court as teammates. Both Jordan and Grant understood that their main goal was to win a championship, which eventually they did, but there was no real friendship between them because they had their own set of friends they spent time together after games and practices. Grant said the only real friend on the Bulls squad was Scottie Pippen with whom he was close throughout those years, mostly because they were both drafted in the same year by the Bulls front office.
“Mike and I never had a great relationship. We respected each other as teammates in terms of us having one goal, and that goal was to win a championship. We didn’t hang out that much off the court. He had his set of friends; I had my set of friends. The only person I really hang out was Scottie. I wasn’t really close with MJ, especially when that book came out.”
Horace Grant, via Pardon My Take
The impact of Smith’s book was evident immediately when it came out, and it resulted in a lot of friction among the team members. People also thought it might affect their chemistry to such a degree it would compromise their run at another championship. Still, the Bulls were able to overcome that and made history winning a third straight championship. Grant was unhappy with his situation within the team because of an expiring contract but also the fact Jordan was getting all the credit for the success they had during that run. He would leave the Bulls following their three-peat and signed a contract with the Orlando Magic where he joined a young, dynamic duo of Penny Hardaway and Shaquille O’Neal.