Griffin top pick in NBA draft
ESPN.com news services
The Los Angeles Clippers selected Oklahoma’s Blake Griffin with the No. 1 pick in the 2009 NBA draft.
"It’s great to know exactly where I’m going and it is set in stone," Griffin said on ESPN.The 6-10, 248-pound forward averaged 22.7 points and 14.4 rebounds in earning national player of the year honors as a sophomore at Oklahoma. Griffin is considered the only sure thing in a draft filled with question marks. The Clippers said they would take the forward with the pick hours after they won the draft lottery last month.
"The fact is we’re getting an incredible player, incredible person, an impeccable work ethic and a guy that we plan on having in L.A. for many years to come," Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said. "He’s going to be a great, exciting fit for our ballclub."
The Clippers are hoping Griffin turns out better than their last No. 1 overall pick. They opened the 1998 draft by taking center Michael Olowokandi, a bust who is out of the league.
"I’m not worried about what’s happened in the past," Griffin said. "Just excited about the opportunity."
The Memphis Grizzlies then grabbed Connecticut center Hasheem Thabeet, a dominant rebounder and shot blocker who doesn’t have strong offensive skills.