Blake Griffin taken first in 2009 NBA Draft
Friday, June 26, 2009
The Los Angeles Clippers professional basketball team selected power forward Blake Griffin as the first overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Griffin, who won ten different player of the year awards for the 2008–09 season, was widely considered by analysts to be the draft's top pick. In his sophomore season at the University of Oklahoma, Griffin averaged 22.7 points, 14.4 rebounds, while shooting 65.4 percent from the field.
Griffin said that he was relieved after NBA commissioner David Stern called his name as the first draft pick.
"It's great to know exactly where I'm going and have it set in stone," Griffin told the University of Oklahoma web site, SoonerSports.com.
He added that he is not worried about the past failures of the Clippers, saying that he was looking forward to his future with the organization.
"We're not going think about what's happened in seasons past," Griffin said. "We're just excited about the opportunity and going to make the best out of whatever situation we're put in."
With the second overall pick, the Memphis Grizzlies chose University of Connecticut junior Hasheem Thabeet. The Oklahoma City Thunder chose Arizona State sophomore James Harden as the third overall pick. Fourth, the Sacramento Kings chose Tyreke Evans, a freshman from the University of Memphis.
With the first of four picks in the first round of the draft, the Minnesota Timberwolves chose 18-year-old Ricky Rubio, a guard from the Spanish professional team Joventut Badalona, before selecting Jonny Flynn from Syracuse University as the sixth overall pick. Later, the Timberwolves chose two players from the University of North Carolina: guards Ty Lawson and Wayne Ellington as the 18th and 28th picks respectively. The Timberwolves later traded Lawson to the Denver Nuggets for a future first-round pick.
Also in NBA news Thursday, the Cleveland Cavaliers aquired veteran center Shaquille O'Neal in a trade with the Phoenix Suns. O'Neal will join 24-year-old LeBron James on the Cavaliers and the Associated Press predicts that O'Neal and James could equal some of the greatest duos in NBA history: "Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bob Cousy and Bill Russell, Shaq himself and Kobe Bryant."
- "NBA Draft Tracker 09" — , June 25, 2009
- "Draft selections and order" — , June 25, 2009
- "Blake Griffin" — , June 25, 2009
- "Griffin Realizes No. 1 Dream" — , June 25, 2009
- Arnie Stapleton, Associated Press. "Timberwolves trade Ty Lawson to Denver Nuggets" — , June 25, 2009
- Tom Withers, Associated Press. "Superstars collide: Cavaliers get Shaquille O'Neal from Suns — joins MVP LeBron to chase title" — , June 25, 2009