When it comes to famous families in the NBA, several come to mind: The Rivers, the Currys, the Barrys, etc. It might take you a while before you get to to the Grant brothers. Maybe it's because so many people remember Horace for his NBA Finals runs with the Bulls, Magic and Lakers and forget he had a brother because he didn't enjoy the same success. While Horace won four NBA titles and made an All-Star Game appearance, Harvey only made it out of the first round once in his NBA career.
You'd think as identical twins, Horace and Harvey should have had similar frames and similar skill sets. Yet, when we look back at each player's career, we remember Horace as the rugged rebounder and interior defender, while Harvey is remembered as a skilled, but soft player, and the stats bear that out. Check out their career numbers:
Horace obviously had the advantage when it came to cleaning the glass and protecting the paint, but Harvey excelled at stretching the floor as a power forward and limiting turnovers (although Horace certainly wasn't careless with the ball, either). They were identical twins, but they certainly didn't copy one another on the floor.
So how do two guys with almost the same DNA running through their systems wind up as such wildly different players? Certainly, environment matters. Horace got to play with Jordan, Pippen, O'Neal, Hardaway, Bryant, Payton, McGrady, and Malone during his career. The best player Harvey Grant got to play with is a toss up between Bullets-era Bernard King and Allen Iverson before his peak in Philadelphia.
But the biggest reason for their divergent paths comes down to a simple reality: They had to face each other in hoops all the time. Sure, they played together in high school and at Clemson for a short time, but the time logged on those courts certainly had to pale in comparison to how much time they spent playing against one another growing up. Because of that, Horace and Harvey were forced to constantly evaluate their own strengths and weaknesses and find out how to exploit them in their twin. Horace had to be the yang to Harvey's yin just as much as Harvey had to be the yin to Horace's yang. Under those circumstances, it would be impossible for the two to not become contrasting versions of themselves.
Perhaps if the Grant twins had been born twenty years later, we'd be looking at them in a different way. Harvey's outside shooting and low turnover rate (did you know Harvey has the sixth-lowest turnover rate in NBA history?) would be a hot commodity in today's NBA. Horace? Certainly, he'd still be able to be a play a significant role in today's NBA, but he probably wouldn't be quite as effective today as we was then. In a different time and a different place, maybe the narratives and Horace and Harvey flip-flop, and Harvey would be the Grant everyone remembered.
But since we can't change the narrative, let's just appreciate both Grants for who they were and divergent paths to the NBA. Although Horace may have enjoyed greater spoils in the NBA, we shouldn't minimize the fact that Harvey was able to make it a different way, developing different skills and still ending up with a long, successful NBA career.
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