Though Grant’s career statistics are not special, he did average barely below a double/double in a nine-year stretch. When measured against Hall of Fame players who are winners, Grant fares well. In NBA history, 37 players have won four championships or more and 25 of 37 of those players (68 percent) are in the HOF or are soon to be in the HOF. Out of the 12 players who have four championships and are not in the Hall of Fame, Grant is the only one who has been an All-Star. That would be assuming Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli make the Hall of Fame. Grant, according to the advanced statistical research, is 47th all-time in NBA win shares. Only three players ahead of him on that list (Chauncey Billups, Shawn Marion and Buck Williams) are not in the Hall of Fame already or not first ballot type players once they become eligible. It doesn’t suggest Grant should be in the Basketball Hall of Fame, or that he will be. But perhaps the largest gap in acknowledging success.
May 16, 2021 | 8:39 pm EDT Update
Sarah K. Spencer: Trae Young is the 2nd-youngest player in NBA history to reach 1,800 career assists, per @HawksPR (behind LeBron James). He’s the 6th-fastest (204 career games) to do so, behind: Oscar Robertson, Tim Hardaway, Kevin Johnson, Mark Jackson, Chris Paul.
Last week, Toni Kukoč had just visited the Croatian gym where he played for Jugoplastika Split as a teenager when Bulls Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf called him with some exciting news. Kukoč is a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame’s Class of 2021. “Maybe it was in the script,” Kukoč said Sunday in a Zoom interview with NBC Sports Chicago from Croatia. “It was destiny.”
The fact he accepted a bench role for the Bulls’ second three-peat teams, winning the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award in 1996, when his talent would have led him to starting — and starring — on lesser teams is also noteworthy. “The first time I met Michael (Jordan) and Scottie (Pippen) was at the ‘92 Olympics in Barcelona and it wasn’t the greatest experience for me. And according to the first game, they were probably going, ‘Oh my gosh, do we really need him?’” Kukoč said, laughing. “But I ended up over the years I guess, actually right now I can say it being a Hall of Famer: I proved myself to them, I proved myself to the coaches, I proved myself to the fans of Chicago that I was worth taking a chance on.”
Toni Kukoc: “The only way to play with Michael and Scottie and Phil is they force you to practice hard to play hard, to give your max every single day just for those moments. So when those moments happen, I don’t want to say it’s expected. But in a way, it is. And you’re ready to perform.”