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Horace Grant says MJ’s Bulls would’ve kicked Miami’s butt

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Updated: November 13, 2013 6:06AM



RIO DE JANEIRO — Horace Grant was brought to Brazil to play NBA ambassador.

On Friday, the former Bulls great threw in some punditry.

Grant said if his Bulls team that won three straight titles from 1991 to ’93 would’ve played against a Miami Heat squad looking for the three-peat this season, “we would’ve kicked their [butts].’’

Grant was equally outspoken about the LeBron James-Michael Jordan comparisons, even if it meant questioning former teammate Scottie Pippen’s comments.

Pippen, who played alongside Jordan on all six Bulls championship runs, said in 2011 on ESPN Radio that “Michael Jordan is probably the greatest scorer to play the game. But I may go as far as to say LeBron James may be the greatest player to ever play the game because he is so potent offensively that not only can he score at will, but he keeps everybody involved.’’

Pippen made headlines again last season when former All-Star center Alonzo Mourning said, “I’m gonna tell you what Scottie said. Scottie said LeBron would kick MJ’s [butt]. And I said, ‘Scottie, you’re right.’ ’’

Grant had a different opinion.

“LeBron really has a lot of years to play, and Scottie was really drinking that day when he said that,’’ Grant said semi-jokingly. “You can’t really compare [a player] to Mike. I mean you can compare, but Michael is the best player I’ve ever seen or played against or played with. Not taking anything away from Kobe [Bryant] or LeBron or Carmelo [Anthony] or even [Derrick Rose], but comparison? Wait until those guys get done playing, then you can say, OK, compare the two careers.’’

Grant said the Heat plays under different circumstances in today’s NBA, which has become a softer league.

“The Heat team, it was more physical back then,’’ Grant said. “Today, you can run around without getting touched. Michael Jordan would have averaged about 45 points.’’

But Grant still appreciates today’s game. He’s anticipating this Bulls team bringing back some rings to Chicago, starting this season.

“If anyone can do it, that team with a leader in D-Rose, with Joakim Noah, Luol Deng and the rest of the guys, I’m looking for a few championships in Chicago,’’ Grant said.

Rose could only smile when apprised of Grant’s message.

“It’s crazy that he said that,’’ Rose said. “He kind of put pressure on me, but if anything, as a player, you want pressure. I love pressure. I love playing when everybody is looking at me. I love big stages.’’

Rose, however, doesn’t want any comparison to Jordan. He’ll stay miles away from that subject, thank you very much.

“The MJ comparison, I don’t think there is a comparison,’’ Rose said. “They won six championships. We haven’t won one yet. They went to six Finals. We haven’t been to one yet. So there’s no comparison when you talk about teams. We’re just trying to leave our own legacy.’’

Email: jcowley@suntimes.com



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