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Twin Peaks
Leigh Montville
November 09, 1992
Horace Grant (left) has two championship rings. Brother Harvey has a $17 million contract. No wonder their mom is smiling
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November 09, 1992

Twin Peaks

Horace Grant (left) has two championship rings. Brother Harvey has a $17 million contract. No wonder their mom is smiling

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Horace describes his role with the Bulls: There never has been a play in the offense designed to give him a shot. All of his points have had to be adlibbed points, leftovers, points scored when Jordan or Pippen missed or were double-teamed. He says he averages only nine shots per game, not a lot, and wonders what he could do with more. What would happen if someone were actually trying to shake him free to score? Harvey says he averages 15 shots a game and sometimes takes a lot more than that.

"What I want now is to win a championship," Harvey says. "I've done all the other things I wanted to do. I made the league, I got playing time, I got the money. Now, I want the ring."

"You need patience in this league," Horace says. "Things come to you. I'm waiting for the money. Two more years and my contract's up."

Harvey hit the big-money payoff under strange circumstances. He had wanted to sign a new contract with the Bullets a year ago for a nice figure—say, $6 million for four years. Wasn't that a fair price on the market? The Bullets didn't want to deal. The negotiations stretched into the season, and he decided, after talking with his agent, Jimmy Sexton, that he would play out the final year of his existing contract and become a free agent. He had no idea what would happen.

"The season is over, and I'm home," Harvey says. "I get a call from Jimmy. He says that I probably should get up to New York as soon as possible, that the Knicks are going to make an offer. I take the first flight I can. We wind up in a room with all of the Knicks people. They give me the offer...$17 million for six years. I just stared at the numbers. My stomach started churning. I had to leave the room. All that money. Plus, I'd be playing with the Knicks—with Patrick Ewing."

The Bullets begrudgingly matched the figure. They charged at first that the Knicks tampered with Harvey before July 1, the day he officially became a free agent. They instituted legal proceedings. All of that has been handled now; the Knicks were declared not guilty. But an aftertaste remains. Harvey still wishes he were a Knick. Why would the Bullets sign him and try to hurt him at the same time? Thoughts about a team being "family" have disappeared. Why would a dad try to hurt one of his children?

"I read a quote, something the general manager said: 'Well, $17 million can make a lot of people forget that they're unhappy,' " Harvey says. "That's not the point. The money's good, sure, but there's principle involved here, too. This is always going to be in the back of my mind, what the Bullets did. I should be a Knick. I see right where I should be playing."

"They got Tony Campbell instead of you," Horace says. "Tony Campbell's going to be playing your spot."

"It would have been nice. The Knicks."

The conversation continues all the way to Hartsfield Airport. Easy talk, natural, the sentences of one brother blending with the sentences of the other. Twins. Has there ever been a set of twins in American sport to reach the same level of success? Let's see, there were the Van Arsdales in basketball and the O'Briens long ago in baseball and the Gulliksons in tennis...but, no. Probably not. Horace and Harvey. Harvey and Horace. Their mother has a large picture of two tigers on her living room wall, a leftover from the Clemson times. One tiger is snarling; one has its mouth closed. She says the snarling one probably is Horace. Other than that, the tigers look alike. The rest of the wall is covered with citations and plaques. Trophies are on the floor.

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