Former NBA Player Brian Grant Shares His Struggle Against Parkinson's Disease
Brian Grant, like other famous NBA players, always had a roaring crowd behind him, supporting him while he was out on the court. His fans would collectively wear their Blazers T-shirts, which read "Rasta Monsta", and watched both the highs and the lows of his career.
During his 12-year career, Grant was never the fastest, nor the most skilled. However, what he lacked in talent, he made up with his hustle and desire to win the game at all costs. Even Tim Duncan, a retired NBA player who had a 19-year long career with the Spurs, noticed Grant's achievements and commented, "[he's the] hardest working guy in the league. You've got to respect that cat."
Not many really get that compliment from Duncan.
Grant was always famous for his grit, going as far as playing an entire season with a torn labrum. He would never back down from a challenge. Whether he was pitted against Karl Malone, or stuck guarding against Shaquille O’Neal, Grant would never give in.
Because of his will, Grant got out of his hometown of Georgetown, Ohio, survived a 12-year career in the NBA, and powered through torn knees.
Back in 2006, however, the former NBA star was driven to an early retirement once he started to experience symptoms of Parkinson's disease. To him, this was a challenge that even his grit could not overcome.
Back before Grant received his diagnosis, his neurologist instructed him to remain calm, and that the flicker in his left wrist could be triggered by many causes. His neurologist said, “Your symptoms could indicate something serious, but they could also be a hundred other things.”
Grant was used to pain, and his body doing strange things due to wear and tear. After all, he was considered an elite athlete who pushed his body to the limits. In that sense, he began treatment with Wellbutrin, attended physical therapy, and tried as best as he could to ignore the tremors. However, the symptoms only worsened, to the point where it was impossible to ignore them.
Two years after his final NBA game, he was called back to the court to honor an old friend and former teammate, Kevin Duckworth, who had passed away at 44 due to heart failure. Grant only had to stand, wave, bow his head, and pay his respects. But he was fearful of what the crowd would think when they noticed his unsteady gait and the tremors in his left hand. Grant thought, what would his fans and former teammates say if they saw him in this state? Would they think him as weak? Would they pity him?
Read on to learn more about Former NBA Player Brian Grant's struggle with Parkinson's disease.
Photo: Brian Grant/Youtube/Joel Jackson