Equally known for his basketball goggles as for his basketball skills, Horace Grant will be remembered as one of the better Power Forwards in NBA history. Grant, also known as the “General”, won 4 NBA titles, three of them with the Chicago Bulls in the early 90-ties.
Grant, born in Augusta, Georgia, on July 4th 1965., as a senior led his Clemson Tigers to their only second NCAA tournament in history. 6’10 Power Forward averaged 21.0 points and 9.6 boards per game that year (1987.) and later was drafted by the Chicago Bulls with the 10th overall pick.
Two years later, after the Bulls traded Charles Oakley to New York Knicks, Grant was promoted to the starting lineup and quickly became Bulls’ leading rebounder and third scoring option behind Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen. With him firmly holding that PF position, Bulls won three consecutive championships in 1990/1991, 1991/1992 and 1992/1993 seasons.
Horace Grant was famous for his basketball goggles, too. He started to wear them in a 1990/1991 season, as the Bulls’ doctors concluded that his deteriorated vision is causing miss shots he would usually make. David Orth, the Bulls’ ophthalmologist was pretty concerned back then: “He’s been playing great under the basket, but I can see that when he is out a certain distance, he’s becoming insecure. Without the glasses, he has zero depth perception. And my real concern is that under stress when the game’s on the line, he’s not going to be at maximum efficiency”.
Apparently, Grants’ vision was so problematic that the only way he could read the newspapers was to hold them a couple of inches from his face. Later, when he finally started to wear basketball goggles, he admitted that he felt like “The whole new world is opening to him”.
Even after the corrective laser eye surgery, Grant continued to wear his basketball goggles until the end of his career. His basketball goggles became so famous that people wanted to get them in any way possible. “People take them off benches, out of locker rooms, I guess they want them as souvenirs,” said Grant in one of the interviews.
After all said and done, Grant had an amazing career. He played 15 NBA seasons, won four NBA titles (three with Bulls and one with Lakers in 2000/2001 season), averaged 11.2 points and 8.1 rebounds in more than 1000 games played and was one time All Star in 1994. He finally retired his basketball goggles in the 2003/2004 season as a backup for Karl Malone.