An Outraged Horace Grant Says Michael Jordan Lied in 'The Last Dance'

Brady Langmann
Photo credit: Getty Images

From Esquire

Not everyone was probably going to get the best shake in The Last Dance. The release of the documentary, which chronicles the Michael Jordan-era Chicago Bulls, was dependent on… Michael Jordan’s approval. Not to mention, two people close to Jordan, Estee Portnoy and Curtis Polk, were executive producers on the project.

So, considering The Last Dance, while a critical success, didn’t exactly have the most journalistic point of view, some of the players interviewed in the documentary aren’t too happy with how it portrayed them. Last week, it was Scottie Pippen, and this week, it’s Horace Grant, the big man who helped Jordan win his first three championships. It’s for good reason, too. In The Last Dance, Jordan accuses Grant of being the one who spilled team secrets to the author of The Jordan Rules, Sam Smith. In an interview with Kap and Co. on ESPN 1000 in Chicago earlier this week, Grant fired back:

"Lie, lie, lie. ... If MJ had a grudge with me, let's settle this like men. Let's talk about it. Or we can settle it another way. But yet and still, he goes out and puts this lie out that I was the source behind [the book]. Sam and I have always been great friends. We're still great friends. But the sanctity of that locker room, I would never put anything personal out there. The mere fact that Sam Smith was an investigative reporter. That he had to have two sources, two, to write a book, I guess. Why would MJ just point me out?”

He made it clear, too, that Steve Kerr wasn’t the only one who stood up to Jordan—saying he “went at him right back” when he tried to bully him. Grant added that The Last Dance is “B.S. in terms of the realness of it," and pointed out that he isn’t the only one who had a falling out with Jordan since the glory days:

"Charles Barkley, they've been friends for over 20, 30 years," Grant said. "And he said something about Michael's management with the Charlotte Bobcats or the Charlotte Hornets, and then they haven't spoken since then. And my point is, he said that I was the snitch, but yet and still after 35 years he brings up his rookie year going into one of his teammates' rooms and seeing coke and weed and women. My point is: Why the hell did he want to bring that up? What's that got to do with anything? I mean, if you want to call somebody a snitch, that's a damn snitch right there."

Grant also defended Pippen, expressing frustration with Jordan calling the forward selfish for sitting out the final moments of a playoff game because the last play wasn’t designed for him. He called out what he believed to be a Jordan-skewed POV of the documentary, too, considering how involved his team was in its production. On KNBR in San Francisco, Grant also addressed one of the pettiest stories in the documentary: When Jordan told flight attendants not to serve Grant food on an airplane after a loss.

"Anybody [who] knows me, as a rookie, if anybody comes up and tries to snatch my food away, I'm going to do my best to beat their ass," Grant said. "And believe me, back then, I could have took MJ in a heartbeat. Yes, it's true that he told the flight attendant, 'Well, don't give him anything because he played like crap.' And I went right back at him. I said some choice words that I won't repeat here. But I said some choice words and stood up. 'If you want it, you come and get it.' And of course, he didn't move. He was just barking. But that was the story.”

The big man proceeded to launch a handful of hypotheticals, saying that he would’ve whipped Jordan’s ass if he stole his food, and that MJ’s six championships would’ve ceased to exist entirely had he done so. Note to self: Horace Grant is a walking Snickers commercial, and his food should not be fucked with at all costs.

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