Jerami Grant’s real reason for leaving Nuggets to sign with the Pistons
Many fans were surprised when Jerami Grant left the Denver Nuggets for the Detroit Pistons during the offseason after he played a key role for head coach Mike Malone’s team that went into the Western Conference Finals inside the Orlando bubble. Grant admitted that not everyone can understand his decision from the same angle, especially if they aren’t in his position as a player.
“I think it’s hard for fans to understand (leaving a winning situation), but I don’t think it’s hard for players to get,” Grant told The Athletic. “I think it is difficult for people who don’t play to understand because they don’t look at it from the same angle or same point of view as a player would.”
Aside from inking a fresh $60 million contract, Grant also bared that his decision was bigger than basketball. He decided to take his talents to Motor City to play under head coach Dwayne Casey and general manager Troy Weaver since both are African Americans.
“I was a Black man before I was a basketball player,” Grant said.
“Whether it’s on the court or off, there’s a sense of understanding that you get from — and I’m not going to say all, but a majority — Black people who have gone through and are going through some of the struggles that we do,” he added. “I think that gives you a better connection, makes it a little easier and makes you feel better about yourself when you have people that look like you around.”
Now on a new team, the Syracuse product has emerged as an integral piece for the Pistons as he has averaged 23.0 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 1.7 assists through seven games played this season. However, his individual numbers still failed to translate to wins for Detroit as the Pistons currently hold a 1-6 record early in the season.
In reality, the Pistons aren’t anywhere near attaining the same level of success that the Nuggets reached a season ago. Despite the different situation, Jerami Grant continues to believe that his decision was the right choice to make both as a player and as a black athlete.