The behind-the-scenes access to Michael Jordan and the teams that made up his Bulls dynasties in the 1990s made the 10-part ESPN series, “The Last Dance,” a hit with audiences—an average of 5.6 million viewers tuned in to the 10 episodes, a record for an ESPN documentary.
One guy who was not a particular fan of the program, however: teammate Horace Grant, portrayed as a turncoat who leaked information to author Sam Smith and bolted to Orlando after the 1993-94 season.
In an interview with David Kaplan of ESPN 1000 in Chicago, Grant called Jordan a, “snitch,” said the charge that he fed Smith information for Smith’s book, The Jordan Rules, was, “downright, outright, completely (a) lie.”
Jordan made the allegation during the series, saying of the Smith book, “I didn’t contribute anything to that. That was Horace. He was telling everything that was happening within the group.
Grant spent seven seasons with Jordan in Chicago before signing with the Magic. He helped the Bulls to championships in 1991, 92 and 93, and averaged 12.6 points, 8.6 rebounds and 1.1 blocks during his time with the team.
Horace Grant Denies Being the Source for The Jordan Rules
Grant was interviewed for, “The Last Dance,” and flatly denied the charge.
“No,” he said in his interview. “Not one thing have I ever divulged to Sam Smith.”
Michael Jordan says Horace Grant was the "Jordan Rules" player leak. Horace Grant denies pic.twitter.com/usFS7MVxQu
— Rob Lopez (@r0bato) May 4, 2020
Point guard B.J. Armstrong, a member of those Bulls teams, defended Grant saying that even if he had talked with Smith, there was no way he was the only source—there was too much detail in the book to come from one player.
Speaking earlier this month on Barstool Sports’ Pardon My Take, Grant called Jordan’s assertion, “a blatant lie. … For MJ to say I was the source of this book, that’s a lie. That’s a downright lie. And he knows that.”
Speaking in Chicago got Grant even more fired up. He suggested that, whatever the grievance that Jordan had with him, it should be aired man-to-man.
“Lie, lie, lie,” Grant said, according to ESPN. “If MJ had a grudge with me, let’s settle this like men,” Grant said during the interview. “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?”
Grant had an answer to his own question: “It’s only a grudge, man. I’m telling you, it was only a grudge. And I think he proved that during this so-called documentary. When if you say something about him, he’s going to cut you off, he’s going to try to destroy your character.”
Smith Backs up Horace Grant
It should be noted, too, that Smith backs up Grant’s account. In an interview on Hoopshype.com, Smith said it was “not true” that Grant was the source of The Jordan Rules, that the accusation came from Jordan’s general dislike of Grant. Smith also said he doubted Jordan ever read the book.
To suggest that one player, who was certainly not privy to a lot of things going on, can be the source of information for a 300-page book about years of a team, some of which he wasn’t even involved in, it’s just ludicrous. But Michael singled him out on the broadcast because, you know, Horace was the one who would often stand up to Michael on behalf of the players. In practice, when Jordan sucker punched Will Perdue, Will was practically crying and didn’t fight back; Horace was the one who went to fight back. Horace wasn’t in the card games with Michael, wasn’t in his group and didn’t hang around with him, but he would stand up to him.