Rookie: Blake Griffin

 

Heralded as one the NBA’s most exciting players, Blake Griffin has transcended the game of basketball and has accomplished more in his rookie season than what an average NBA player achieves in a career.

Known as the “Blake Griffin Sweepstakes”, the Los Angeles Clippers, equipped with only a 17.7% chance of winning the rights of the number one overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft  were revealed as the team that would have the rights to the first overall draft pick. Blake Griffin was so highly touted, where in a system where team’s work out potential draft picks for several weeks before making their choice on who to select, the Clippers were so confident that they would select Blake Griffin that Clippers team president Andy Roeser who was representing the team at the time of the drawing actually wore a pattern designed as the Clippers’ home jersey. Inside his sport-jacket was the number 1 emblazoned on one side, and the number 23, Blake’s college jersey number sewn on the other. On June 25, 2009, Blake Griffin was selected as the number one overall pick by the Los Angeles Clippers.

Blake began the 2009 NBA pre-season with a bang, racking up big numbers and even bigger highlight dunks. In the final pre-season game before his long awaited NBA debut, disaster struck as Blake suffered a knee injury that would cost him his rookie season. Blake spent the year with the team in his street clothes and his Dora the Explorer book bag. Blake, however, was not to be denied. After a year of grueling rehab and intense training, Blake finally launched his rookie campaign on October 27th, 2010 against the Portland Trail Blazers with a 20 point, 14 rebound performance. Every month since then has been an explosive leap after the next.

After witnessing such an incredible rookie season from Blake Griffin, what can we expect in his sophomore year? Nobody can be certain. What we do know is Blake will be working harder than anyone this off-season to push his team to the playoffs and perhaps win another piece of hardware to put on the shelf next to his Rookie of the year award… the NBA Most Valuable Player Trophy.

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