Sam Smith: Michael Jordan Would Take Horace Grant's Food Away After Bad Games

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMay 7, 2020

CHICAGO - CIRCA 1991: Michael Jordan #23 and Horace Grant #54 of the Chicago Bulls talk circa 1991 at Chicago Stadium in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 1991 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
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The nutrition of Horace Grant apparently wasn't a primary concern of Michael Jordan.

During an appearance on KNBR's Tolbert, Krueger and Brooks, Bulls beat writer Sam Smith relayed one anecdote he heard about how Jordan would retaliate if he thought Grant had played poorly:

"Players would come to me over the years and said, 'You know what he did? He took Horace [Grant's] food away on the plane because Horace had a bad game.' [Michael] told the stewardesses 'Don't feed him, he doesn't deserve to eat.'

"They would tell me stuff like that and they'd say 'Why don't you write this?' And I would say 'Well I can't write it unless you say it.' I don't do 'league sources.' You can't do that kind of stuff on these kind of things. 'If you want to be quoted I've got no problem with that.' 'No, no, no we can't say that about Michael Jordan.'"

The occasionally fractious dynamic between Jordan and Grant was among the revelations from Smith's book, Jordan Rules, which chronicled the Bulls' first championship run in 1990-91.

In the aftermath of the book's publication, some—Jordan among them—wondered whether Grant was one of Smith's inside sources. Grant denied the allegation during The Last Dance.

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"Who do you think could do this? Were you a part of this?" Drama in the Bulls locker room is coming to next week's episodes of #TheLastDance https://t.co/0CveCQLMEP

Jordan's general antipathy toward Grant is somewhat puzzling because the 6'10" forward was a critical member of Chicago's starting lineup when the Bulls reeled off three straight titles prior to Jordan's first retirement. From 1990-93, Grant averaged 13.4 points, 9.3 rebounds and 1.3 blocks.

Of course, MJ is rarely one to let sleeping dogs lie. Just ask Isiah Thomas.