Monday, June 29, 2009

Clippers stay true to word and draft Blake Griffin,0,7652786.story

Clippers stay true to word and draft Blake Griffin
The consensus college player of the year from Oklahoma, who had 30 double-doubles last season and was considered by some to be the only sure thing in this draft, is taken No. 1 overall
By Lisa Dillman
June 26, 2009

Reporting from New York -- There would be no last-minute plot twist for the often-surprising Clippers.

The Clippers said May 19 after winning the draft lottery that they would take Oklahoma power forward Blake Griffin with the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft, and today, , their actions followed their words.

This time, the predictable course was the right one at the glitzy NBA draft tonight at Madison Square Garden. Griffin shook hands with NBA Commissioner David Stern and started his Clippers career.

Griffin, the consensus college player of the year, led the nation in double doubles, recording 30 of them, and averaged 22.7 points and 14.4 rebounds.

He was considered the only sure thing in what had been called an unpredictable draft. Griffin worked out for just one team: the Clippers, and the Clippers, who don't have a second-round choice, did not bring in any other players for an individual workout.

Clippers General Manager and Coach Mike Dunleavy made a trip to Europe in May to watch dynamic point guard Ricky Rubio, and happened to be in Spain the night the team won the draft lottery. That made his long journey a moot point.

The Clippers won only 19 games last season and have missed the playoffs in 11 of the last 12 seasons.

Griffin was asked earlier in this week about the Clippers poor history, and he said: "I am not worried about anything that has happened in the past. I wasn't a part of that and a lot of the guys that are there now weren't a part of it.

"So, I mean, we're only looking forward to the future."

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