Just read today that former Heat big man, Brian Grant, was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.
Grant played four seasons with the Heat before being traded as a part of the blockbuster that brought Shaq, and as a result, an NBA title to Miami.
Always known as a role player, Grant was a fan favorite here in Miami, even though he played out of position at center for part of his time here. In 2000, after inking a 7-year, $86 million deal with the Heat, Grant had a career season, averaging 15 and 9 rebounds for the team.
The best way I can think to describe what Grant meant to the Heat is comparing him to what Udonis Haslem has been to the team in his career. He didn't always put up the best numbers, but he did the dirty work that needed to be done. Undersized at 6'9", he played out of position and matched up with the likes of Shaq, Karl Malone and David Robinson.
Grant found out about his diagnosis in January, and finally decided to go public with his condition after talking to both Michael J. Fox and Muhammad Ali. Grant sat down with ESPN's Ric Bucher to discuss his illness. According to the column, Fox told Grant not to let the disease rule him, but rather that he has to rule the disease.
Grant is starting up his own Web site, http://www.briangrant.org/, where people can follow his progress with his battle with Parkinson's.
My best thoughts go out to The General, who I will always remember for being my mom's favorite Heat player.