This is a picture of the Chicago Bulls playing the New Jersey Nets. In the center of the picture is Horace Grant in his signature goggles. The words say: Horace Grant Hall of Fame?

Is Horace Grant Hall of Fame Worthy? Not Quite

Horace Grant had a great career and won four NBA titles, but he is not quite a Hall of Fame player. Grant’s career awards include one All Star game and four All-Defensive 2nd Teams. Those good but not amazing awards, and his fairly pedestrian career stats, leave Grant just shy of the level needed for the Hall of Fame. 

Is Horace Grant a Hall of Fame Player? 

Horace Grant had a solid NBA career but was not quite a Hall of Fame player. 

You can see his career NBA statistics below. 

Games PointsAssistsReboundsT/OBlocks

While this is not official, players are generally selected for the Hall of Fame based on three criteria. One criteria is winning. 

Players who win at a high level are often not subject to the same expectations in terms of career numbers of players who do not win consistently. 

A second criteria for Hall of Fame selection is career awards and accomplishments. These are things like  All-NBA selections and All Star games.

Finally, players are chosen at least partially based on their career statistics. 

In general, these Hall of Fame criteria are on a sliding scale. 

A player with absolutely insane career stats is likely to make the Hall of Fame no matter if he wins a title or not.  Players like John Stockton show this is true. 

Players with amazing career awards and accomplishments, like Charles Barkley, don’t need to win a title either. 

Meanwhile, players who win but are role players, like Big Shot Bob Horry  or Steve Kerr, don’t make the Hall of Fame simply because they won titles. 

Below, I’ll take a look at Horace Grant’s case for the Hall of Fame in all three areas. 


Horace Grant’s main argument for making the Hall of Fame is that he was a winner. He was a starter and key contributor for the Bulls first threepeat. 

Those Bulls won NBA titles 1991, 1992 and 1993. Grant was clearly the third wheel on those teams behind Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen

Grant was a starter, the third leading scorer and leading rebounder for those teams.

Grant was also known for his defense. He made All-NBA 2nd team defense in the last title year. 

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Horace Grant Poster

Grant would leave the Bulls as a free agent after the ‘93-’94 season. He was sought after in the league for his defense, experience and for his ability to lead a team to wins. 

In his first season after signing with  Orlando, Grant was a key reason the Magic, featuring a young Penny Hardaway and Shaq, were able to make the NBA Finals. 

Grant would start in the NBA for 14 straight seasons. He went on to win another title starting for a Lakers team featuring Shaq and Kobe.

With four NBA titles as a starter, Grant has a resume that makes him a candidate for the Hall of Fame. 

But since he was never the best, or even second best, player on a title team, Grant’s winning is not enough to make him a Hall of Famer with nothing else in his favor.  

Career Awards & Accomplishments

Grant’s career accomplishments outside winning are not as strong. 

After Micheal Jordan retired, Horace Grant made his only All Star team in 1994.

That season he averaged 15 points and 11 rebounds per game. 

Those are really good numbers – borderline All Star numbers. But they are not crazy numbers either. 

As I said, that was Grant’s only All Star game.

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Horace Grant Card

He did make 4 All-Defensive 2nd teams starting with his last Bulls title year in 1993 and continuing for the next three seasons – his All Star year in Chicago and his first two years in Orlando.

While he was known as a good defensive player, Grant was not in contention for Defensive Player of the Year like a Dennis Rodman or a Ben Wallace. 

Despite being a winning player, Horace Grant’s career awards and accomplishments are fairly pedestrian. They do not point towards a Hall of Fame selection. 

Advanced Stats & Player Comparison

With a mix between his accomplishments and awards being weaker and his winning being a strength, Horace Grants’ Hall of Fame chances mostly come down to his career stats. 

Here again are Grants’ career counting stats:

Games PointsAssistsReboundsT/OBlocks

For comparisons sake, here are Shawn Kemp’s career counting stats:

Games PointsAssistsReboundsT/OBlocks

Finally, let’s look at an obvious Hall of Famer. Here are Kevin Garnett’s career stats

Games PointsAssistsReboundsT/OBlocks

In this post, I argued that Kemp is not quite at the Hall of Fame level. 

Kemp made 6 All Star teams and was a 3x All-NBA 2nd Team selection. So Kemp had some real accomplishments – much more so than Grant. 

But Horace Grant did more winning in the NBA. The Reign Man never won a title.  

KG fits into the group of players who didn’t really need a title to make the Hall of Fame. But, as a Celtics fan, I am damn glad he got one! 

While it is close between Kemp and Horace Grant, I’d say Kemp’s career counting stats are slightly better. Kemp, as I said, had the better accomplishments with more All Star and All-NBA selections. 

Let’s look at some advanced stats to see what they show. 

PlayerPERWin SharesBox Plus/Minus
Horace Grant16.0118.21.4
Kevin Garnett22.7191.45.6
Sean Kemp19.189.5.6

The first that jumps out here is that Kevin Garnett had a hell of a career. Those win shares and Box Plus/Minus are absurd.

So we can say with certainty that Horace Grant’s numbers do not make him one of the greatest players of all time and a slam dunk Hall of Famer.

But we knew that. 

Let’s look at Kemp vs Grant.  Kemp has the better PER and slightly worse Box Plus/Minus. I’d call that a push. 

That Grant has better Win Shares is clear but also can be misleading. Career Win Shares can be influenced by playing a lot of minutes on good teams for many years.

Grant’s teams in Chicago were better than Kemp’s in Seattle. That only got worse when they moved on with Kemp joining a bad Cleveland team while Grant seemed to find work with decent if not great teams.

Admittedly, some of that may not be coincidence. Grant was known as a leader and a winner while Kemp had addiction issues and was known as a bit of a problem-child at times. 

All told, when comparing Shawn Kemp’s advanced stats to Horace Grant, I’d give a slight edge to Grant. 

Having given Kemp a slight edge in career counting stats, you could say their career stats are mostly a push. 

All told, I’d rank Shawn Kemp as nearly tied with Horace Grant as a player. 

Grant was better defensively and was solid for many years in the NBA. He won four titles and was clearly a winning player.

But Kemp was a star in Seattle who burned out too quickly due to his lifestyle to put together a convincing Hall of Fame case. 

I would say that Grant, like Kemp, is just below the level of the Hall of Fame. They both miss out due to different reasons, but they are both a bit shy of that level. 

Summary: Horace Grant Hall of Fame

Horace Grant is not in the Hall of Fame despite winning four NBA titles. While he won some awards, including four All-Defensive 2nd teams, he did not quite do enough to deserve Hall of Fame induction. 

Featured Image Photo Credit – Horace Grant, Chicago Bulls at the Meadowlands Sports Complex, NJ, US.png The Eloquent Peasant Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0

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