If you have watched ESPN Sportscenter any over the past few months or are a follower of Bill Simmons Twitter account ( @sportsguy33…a good guy to follow if your a sports fan, despite his unabashed man love he constantly showed for Griffin during the regular season. Seriously, it got to the point where I could have heard that he made his wife wear a Blake Griffin Mask to bed and I would only have nodded without shock.), then you have either seen or heard of the high-flying Clippers star, Blake Griffin.
Griffin, who missed last season due to a preseason injury, came out this year and exploded into the hearts and lore of the Los Angeles Clippers. Averaging 22 points a game as well as 12 boards, Griffin was everywhere on the court, breathing life and hope into a failing franchise in the process. His efforts and skill were rewarded Wednesday when the NBA announced the obvious, Blake Griffin was this years NBA Rookie of the Year.
The Number 1 overall pick of the 2009 NBA Draft had a stellar debut season. He was named the Western Conference's Rookie of the Month six times, becoming the first player to sweep that award since Paul did it with the Hornets five years ago, was the first rookie named to an All-Star squad since Yao-Ming in 2003 (oh, he won the Dunk contest that weekend as well with that dunk over the car.), and is the only rookie among the league's top 45 scorers and top 20 rebounders.
"He's a highlight at any second of the game, but he's also smart enough to know that the fundamentals are the part that will make him better and help this team," Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said. "He handles it very well. He has great humility and great character."
The scariest part about Griffin, however, is that he is only going to get better. In only his first full season, he has emerged as one of the top talents in the game and did it on a nightly basis. Blake had 63 games with at least 10 points and 10 rebounds, third-most in the NBA, including 27 straight.
"This is just the beginning of a career that's going to be very special, very fun to watch," Del Negro said. "I've had this date on my calendar since the first day I walked into the gym and saw Blake shooting baskets."
The Clippers aren't anyone's definition of an ideal franchise, they have had 18 non-winning seasons in their 19 season history, but the future has suddenly became something to hope for and that's all due to Griffin. A great player can turn a franchise around and that's what Griffin obviously is.
"We're excited about where the Clippers are headed," Griffin said. "We just laid the foundation, and we can't wait until next year."
Photo Courtesy of: ASSOCIATED PRESS