Dear Clippernation/Mr. Dunleavy,
I, like many, am an avid fan of the talented big man from Oklahoma, Blake Griffin. A unique talent, a man with a great work ethic and a successful player at the college level.
You've made it fairly clear that you intend to take him with the first overall pick, that you were lucky enough to win this past week.
And who can blame you? Ricky Rubio is intriguing...he could be a great point guard. Guys like Hasheem Thabeet (guys that are 7'3" and have the wingspan that would make Virgin Airlines jealous) don't come along all too often. Brandon Jennings' highlights on YouTube are enough to make anything look twice.
But compared to Blake Griffin? No, definitely no-one blaming you for your choice.
After all, Griffin was the man in the NCAA this year. He won almost every award he was eligible for (including the Oscar Robertson trophy, Sports Illustrated player of the year, and Big 12 player of the year, along with so many more). He was an All-American, the MVP and the undisputed leader of his team.
A team that enjoyed success, largely due to Griffin. The team started 25-1, and Griffin's worth was proven after he missed two games with a nasty concussion, and the Sooners lost both games (though to be fair, they were close games)
The Sooners earned their No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament, and easily dispatched Morgan State, Michigan and red-hot Syracuse.
They met their match in their Elite Eight matchup with North Carolina, but the team can hold their heads up high by being beaten by the eventual champions.
Griffin was huge in the tourney. He finished with 114 points and 60 rebounds- a feat unmatched for 40 years.
But then, I guess you knew that all eh? You aren't going to take him at No. 1 for nothing.
But there is so much more. Griffin's work ethic, his desire to win, his leadership qualities are all valuable commodities so rare in the NBA. His cool demeanor completely offsets his rugged style of play.
He, unlike many of the other choices in the draft this year, will make an impact on his team immediately. He can rebound. He can defend. He can work well within an offense.
Though he is a big man who can use his size and strength to his advantage, he can use other skills as well. For a man of his size, his ball-handling and outside touch are far more than respectable. In fact his jumper has been one mentioned as one of the attributes that sets him apart from the rest.
There has been nothing but positives and even amazement coming from his pre-draft workouts. He is grounded, humble, and any team would be lucky to have him.
And it seems like your Clippers, Mr. Dunleavy, are that lucky team.
So I now feel like I should get to the point of this letter...seeing as almost everyone now knows what I detailed above.
Please, Please, oh Please...do not waste this man's career.
You will have to forgive my lack of confidence in your team...but you do not have the best history as a franchise.
You don't really make the best decisions contract and trade wise. Your bench always seems to be bickering with the coaching staff...you have only made the playoffs once in something like 110 years.
Last time you had a No. 1 pick...Michael Olowokandi was chosen back in 1998. And I don't think either of us wants to relive what happened there.
You were lucky enough to have one of the best power forwards of the decade in Elton Brand. He was a walking 20-10 for years, and though he is slated as being unloyal now...I believe he is no such thing, he deserves a lot of respect for putting up with your losing ways for so many years.
You had him...and failed to utilise him. You didn't put any pieces around him apart from the 2006 season, which to your credit was a great season. But that's all it was, a season. Three years on now, and you haven't sniffed the postseason since.
I beg, do not do this with Blake Griffin.
Learn from your mistakes, let him grow and mature in his own way, and place the pieces around him in the future. I won't go so far as to say he will be an M.V.P one day...but I do say with absolute confidence that he will be a major part of your success.
If I had my way, Mr. Dunleavy, Blake Griffin would be going to almost any other team than yours. I believe any other front office and coaching staff could do a better job, but it looks like you shall have him.
So please, don't screw it up.
I am not a fan of your team, but I am a fan of Blake Griffin.
If you do this right, the latter will change the former.