Ex-champ Horace Grant in India, as part of 3×3 NBA Jam tournament – PHOTO


horace-grant-orlandoRetired NBA champion Horace Grant is in India, as part of the 3×3 Basketball tournament – NBA Jam, Times of India reported.

Grant is participating in the event to share his knowledge and experience with the upcoming players and popularise the American professional league in India.

Grant will also be a part of a clinic organised for the underprivileged kids here.

On his visit, four time NBA champion Grant is excited to witness talented hoopsters and felt it’s an ideal format to help give the sport prominence in India.

“I am very excited to watch young kids compete in this entertaining format. I have heard the players here have lot of passion and enthusiasm for game which is all you want to succeed. I am hoping for a good turnout at the venue,” said Grant, who won three NBA titles with Chicago Bulls from 1990-1993 and another in 2000-01 with the LA Lakers.

Grant said that India need to develop infrastructure in order to become a strong force at the international level.

“My role is to promote the NBA, extend my expertise and teach the players,” said Grant.

“India needs to focus on developing infrastructure to take the game forward. The standards of coaching needs to be really high. If China can improve such drastically in the sport, I am sure India also can,” Grant, who visits different countries as NBA goodwill ambassador, said.

When asked in what team he enjoyed playing the most, he said, “I enjoyed playing the most for Chicago Bulls. It was something special there. We won three championships there.”

It is the largest 3-on-3 tournament ever held in India and the finals of the event will be televised on sports channel Sony Six.

The winning teams (of the different legs) would have a chance to play 3-on-3 against the NBA legends like Ron Harper and Peja Stojakovic at the national finals.

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On the sidelines of the tournament, Grant recalled an old misunderstanding between him and former Orlando Magic coach Doc Rivers.

Ten years after getting involved in an ugly spat Rivers, Grant admitted he was wrong in reacting the way he did.

Grant was dropped by Orlando Magic in 2002 after then-coach Rivers implied Grant was a ‘cancer’ on the team.

“When you are attacked, you react in a certain way. Looking back at that, I should not have acted in the manner I did as I was one of the veterans in the team and guys were looking up to me,” said the four-time NBA Champion.

“He was a young coach and I was an old veteran. We talked about it, shook hands and apologized to each other for my reacting to some of his comments. It was a total misunderstanding,” he added.

Grant spent 17 seasons in the NBA, playing for Chicago Bulls, Orlando Magic, Seattle Supersonics and Los Angeles Lakers.

In his 1165 games (1037 started) in the league, Grant averaged 11.2 ppg, 8.1 rpg and 1.0 bpg.

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