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Old 02-28-2011, 07:51 AM   #1
SoCalMike
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Default Article: LA Times - No more goggles, but ex-Laker Horace Grant likes what he sees...

Nice article for the old schoolers... Horace Grant was a perfect player in Pjax's system both in Chicago and LA.


Source: No more goggles, but ex-Laker Horace Grant likes what he sees in retirement

Quote:

Horace Grant is so enchanted by his adopted home on California's Central Coast that he might be mistaken for a Realtor or tourism-council spokesman.

"It's so serene," he says. "It's such a beautiful area."

At the moment, the former Lakers forward is seated in the living room of a rented hilltop home high above Pismo Beach.

Out the window on a clear winter day, views of the jagged coastline are magnificent, stretching from San Luis Obispo Bay to the northwest, the shimmering Pacific Ocean dead ahead and, to the south, the Pismo Dunes Natural Preserve and beyond.

Later, from the deck, the 45-year-old Grant points south toward Arroyo Grande, where his home is under renovation.

Grant, whose 17-season NBA career yielded four championship rings with the Lakers and Chicago Bulls, was introduced to the area by his wife, Andrea, who grew up in Santa Maria.

She and Grant met 10 years ago in Los Angeles, where Grant was helping Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant and the Lakers win the second of three consecutive NBA titles.

"When we first started dating, I knew that she was the one," Grant says of his wife, "so whenever we got time, we would drive up here from L.A. to visit her parents.

"And I said, 'Wow, I could get used to this.' I loved the small-town atmosphere, the relaxed feel, and I met a lot of good people around here. And so I put my foot in my mouth and said, 'I think I might retire here.' And she held me to it."

He laughs at the memory.

Actually, he notes, downshifting from the fast pace of the NBA wasn't easy — even for a native of tiny Sparta, Ga.

"It took me a year and a half to get used to the laid-back atmosphere," Grant says, relaying the tale of an evening when he walked out the backdoor and was stunned by the silence.

It was pitch black, and all he could hear were crickets.

He wasn't sure he could adjust to the sleepy lifestyle, but his wife told him to give it a few months. If he was still uncomfortable, she promised, they could talk about moving.

"I don't know what happened during that time," Grant says, "but I just completely fell in love with this place."

Says Andrea, "Now when we go to a big city, he says he can't imagine living there again and can't wait to get home."

Grant, in fact, is searching for a 15-acre parcel in the area on which to build an athletic training center, complete with dormitories. A dedicated weightlifter, he believes that conditioning played a major role in his long and successful career.

Of course, playing with great players didn't hurt.

Wearing his signature goggles, Grant spent his first seven seasons with the Bulls, who selected the 6-foot-10 former Clemson star with the 10th pick in the 1987 NBA draft.

The Bulls, thanks to a trade, also added the fifth pick in the 1987 draft, Scottie Pippen of Central Arkansas.

Pippen and Grant were the starting forwards on Michael Jordan-led teams that won championships in 1991, '92 and '93, dispatching Magic Johnson and the Lakers in the '91 Finals.

"You couldn't ask for anyone better to push you to your limit," Grant says of Jordan. "Every single practice, every single night, he wanted that out of you."

An All-Star in 1994, Grant later reunited with Coach Phil Jackson for two seasons with the Lakers, retiring after the 2003-04 season with career averages of 11.2 points and 8.1 rebounds.

In L.A., he found Bryant no less driven than Jordan.

"I don't think Kobe's going to stop until somebody out there says he's the best player they've ever seen," Grant notes, smiling. "And if Michael could come back, he would . . . just to keep people saying that he was the best player that ever was."

Nobody ever said Grant was the best, but he knew his place. Four times he made the NBA all-defensive team.

"As long as my teammates and the people who knew basketball recognized my talent and appreciated it, that's all that mattered to me," says Grant, who left the Bulls as a free agent in 1994 to join a young Orlando Magic team led by O'Neal.

Grant was "perhaps the least egomaniacal of the Bulls' players and certainly the most popular," author Sam Smith wrote in "The Jordan Rules," a chronicle of the team's 1990-91 season.

In retirement, Grant retreated from the NBA for years before agreeing last summer to participate in clinics overseas.

His travels have taken him to Mozambique, Angola, South Africa, Qatar and, just this month, Turkey and Spain.

Still trim at 276 pounds, only six pounds heavier than his playing weight, he works as a personal trainer for high school kids and coaches his daughter's seventh-grade basketball team. Sharing his five-acre spread are horses, dogs and chickens.

His goggles, which he continued to wear on the court even after laser surgery corrected his vision, are tucked away in storage with other memorabilia from his NBA career.

His rings are locked in a safe.

Inspired by Jackson — "understanding people," Grant notes, is his former coach's greatest strength — he says he'll eventually try coaching. But so far he has resisted.

Coaching, he fears, would mean less time with his family — his wife, two daughters and a third daughter due in April — and more time away from the Central Coast.

Does he get out much?

"I try not to," he says.





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Old 02-28-2011, 10:53 AM   #2
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Default Re: Article: LA Times - No more goggles, but ex-Laker Horace Grant likes what he sees...

Great read. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 02-28-2011, 12:53 PM   #3
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Default Re: Article: LA Times - No more goggles, but ex-Laker Horace Grant likes what he sees...

For the guy to come back and play for Phil after the rocky start they had in Chi is a testament to his respect he has for the coach.

Horace got picked on pretty good by Phil early, and left for Orlando partly because of that treatment (a lot of it was the fat contract he got also )

Always admired his work ethic, and humbleness. He was supposed to be the lesser athlete than his twin, Harvey, but I don't see Harvey boasting 4 rings and a stellar 17 year career with pretty solid numbers while not being a #1, #2 or #3 option.
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Old 02-28-2011, 08:05 PM   #4
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Default Re: Article: LA Times - No more goggles, but ex-Laker Horace Grant likes what he sees...

really good read. i remember horace grant back when i was a lil kid with his huge goggles. i didnt think he was that good from what i remember but i still chose him in nba jam lol
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Old 02-28-2011, 08:14 PM   #5
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Default Re: Article: LA Times - No more goggles, but ex-Laker Horace Grant likes what he sees...

I want a house in pismo beach too! That area is really nice!



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Old 02-28-2011, 09:16 PM   #6
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Default Re: Article: LA Times - No more goggles, but ex-Laker Horace Grant likes what he sees

I miss the toughness he brought. He was a good backup for the year we had the fabulous four. Good to see he is doing well.
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Old 02-28-2011, 10:07 PM   #7
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Default Re: Article: LA Times - No more goggles, but ex-Laker Horace Grant likes what he sees

Quote:
Originally Posted by lakerfreak
I miss the toughness he brought. He was a good backup for the year we had the fabulous four. Good to see he is doing well.

I strongly feel the outcome would have been different if Grant was available to play that playoff year. No Karl and No Grant resulted to Phil playing Slava vs Sheed Wallace w/c spelled disaster for the Lakers.
btw, his first year here, Lakers were UNDEFEATED ON THE ROAD in the playoffs, demolishing(actually sweeping) good teams like Portland, Kings and Spurs before defeating the Sixers in the finals.
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Old 02-28-2011, 10:25 PM   #8
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Default Re: Article: LA Times - No more goggles, but ex-Laker Horace Grant likes what he sees...

Thanks, I miss horace so much...
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Old 02-28-2011, 10:51 PM   #9
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Default Re: Article: LA Times - No more goggles, but ex-Laker Horace Grant likes what he sees

Quote:
Originally Posted by tamaraw08
I strongly feel the outcome would have been different if Grant was available to play that playoff year. No Karl and No Grant resulted to Phil playing Slava vs Sheed Wallace w/c spelled disaster for the Lakers.
btw, his first year here, Lakers were UNDEFEATED ON THE ROAD in the playoffs, demolishing(actually sweeping) good teams like Portland, Kings and Spurs before defeating the Sixers in the finals.

Yeah, its just a shame he was really old in that year against the pistons. Age does that to us all suppose. Luckily I wouldn't know, im only 23 :p
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Old 02-28-2011, 10:55 PM   #10
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Default Re: Article: LA Times - No more goggles, but ex-Laker Horace Grant likes what he sees

Quote:
Originally Posted by lakerfreak
Yeah, its just a shame he was really old in that year against the pistons. Age does that to us all suppose. Luckily I wouldn't know, im only 23 :p

you are much older than 23!



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Old 03-01-2011, 02:20 AM   #11
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Default Re: Article: LA Times - No more goggles, but ex-Laker Horace Grant likes what he sees

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoCalMike
you are much older than 23!




lool Oh please...that reminds me. we need to do lunch or something...we've been talking about that for 2 years and still nothing happened lol.
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Old 03-01-2011, 09:08 AM   #12
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Default Re: Article: LA Times - No more goggles, but ex-Laker Horace Grant likes what he sees

Quote:
Originally Posted by lakerfreak
lool Oh please...that reminds me. we need to do lunch or something...we've been talking about that for 2 years and still nothing happened lol.

i avoid you!

(J/K!!!!!)

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Old 03-01-2011, 12:14 PM   #13
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Default Re: Article: LA Times - No more goggles, but ex-Laker Horace Grant likes what he sees...

Ok people...
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Old 03-02-2011, 01:45 AM   #14
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Default Re: Article: LA Times - No more goggles, but ex-Laker Horace Grant likes what he sees...

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoCalMike
I want a house in pismo beach too! That area is really nice!




THIS

Love the area...always stop there on my way to Santa Barbra during my college days....:)

Remember he had a twin brother!!!
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