And with the first pick of the 2009 NBA Draft, the Los Angeles Clippers Select: Blake Griffin.
These words uttered by David Stern were a cause for jubilation in the Clippers camp.
No longer would the Clippers wallow in mediocrity. No longer would opposing teams look at their calendars and count games against the red, white, and blue as "automatic wins."
Their savior had arrived in the form of a 6'10", 250-pound behemoth—Blake Griffin, a dominant player at Oklahoma University, who has been compared to the likes of Amare Stoudemire, Karl Malone, and LeBron James.
Now they would have somebody to pair with All-Star caliber Center, Chris Kaman. This would form a devastating duo inside the paint, capable of finally matching up against the elite NBA teams and propelling the Clippers to the playoffs. Or would it? Unfortunately not.
Alas, the Clippers curse struck again.
While dominating the summer league competition and being named the Summer League MVP, Griffin suffered a stress fracture in his left knee, putting his NBA debut on hold.
After several weeks it was determined that his knee was not healing property and that he would have to undergo surgery to repair the fracture. This would stop him from playing for the rest of the season.
Because Griffin did not play in any regular season games, he still remains a rookie in the eyes of the NBA and as such has retained eligibility to compete in this years Rookie of the Year award.
The only thing standing in the way of him and his first NBA Award? The entire 2010 rookie class. Specifically, this years No. 1 draft pick, John Wall.
It is hard to imagine anyone other than these two great basketball talents coming home with the award.
If Blake Griffin's talent translates well into the NBA game, and by all accounts it does seamlessly, he can remain close to the 20-10, double-double machine that he was in college.
In his last year of college at Oklahoma University, he averaged 22.7 points, 2.3 assists, 14.4 rebounds 1.2 blocks, and 1.1 steals per game, all while shooting 59 percent from the field.
He even shot a cool 37 percent from three point land. And while the three point line is certainly closer in college, that's not far from Rashard Lewis' 39percent last year, or Dirk Nowitzki's 42 percent.
Blake Griffin will give Baron Davis an extra option to consider before he takes the ill-advised shots that he has become almost famous for.
Griffin's presence will also take pressure of Chris Kaman to produce in the post. Already an all-star last year, Kaman should be able to be even more efficient with Griffin's addition.
Eric Gordon, the Clipper's shooting guard and three point ace, will receive many more open looks than he did last season. And if this summers FIBA tournament is any indication, that is a VERY good thing for this team.
All of this will, without a doubt, translate into more wins for the Clippers, and more ROY votes for Blake Griffin.
Watch Out NBA... Blake Griffin is for real.
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