Here’s one anecdote you won’t be seeing in the final four installments of “The Last Dance.”
While Michael Jordan’s harsh treatment of underperforming teammates is now part of his ultra-competitive legend — first publicly revealed in Sam Smith’s 1992 best-selling book, “The Jordan Rules: The Inside Story of a Turbulent Season with Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls” — the longtime Bulls beat reporter left out a story, which would have portrayed the game’s greatest player in an even harsher light.
According to Smith, Jordan went as far as depriving teammate Horace Grant of eating after a game, if the power forward had a rough night on the floor.
“Players would come to me over the years and say, ‘You know what he did? He took Horace’s food away on the plane because Horace had a bad game,’” Smith said on the Tolbert, Krueger and Brooks podcast this week. “[Michael] told the stewardesses, ‘Don’t feed him. He doesn’t deserve to eat.’”
Why is this story first being shared 27 years after Jordan and Grant’s final season playing together?
“[Players] would tell me stuff like that and then 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,” Smith said. “You can’t do that kind of stuff on these kind of things. [I’d say], ‘If you want to be quoted, I’ve got no problem with that.’” [They’d say], ‘No, no, no, we can’t say that about Michael Jordan.’”
Though Grant was a huge piece of the Bulls’ first three-peat (1991-93), Jordan revealed on the most recent episode of the ongoing docuseries that he believes Grant was the main source for Smith’s damaging book.
“Not one thing did I ever divulge to Sam Smith,” Grant said during an episode of “The Last Dance”. “Lots of people use me as a scapegoat. So be it.”
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